The Notebook

Pruning

Pruning

In winter, our vines have a rest but the vineyard team are very busy preparing the vines for the next harvest. One of the most important tasks of this period is the pruning.  We are pruning to control the vines to a area, other reasons would be to control the yields and quality of fruit the vine can produce.  A good pruning means a good balance between fruit and canopy ratio.
Since November, the canopy on the vines drops and as soon as the vine becomes dormant, it’s the time to begin to prune.
Here at Hambledon we prune to the two-cane method VSP (vertical shoot position), with the “Double Guyot” trellising system, it means that just two and unique vine shoots are conserved. The reason for this method is to maximise light interception which results in better ripening of the fruit. Our target is to have 15 shoots per metre. Organising, the plant on the trellising system which allows clear passage for machinery to pass down the rows.
It’s a manual task which takes about 3 months to prune, pull out and tie down for three people.
A vine which is not pruned will produce too many grapes, but small and acid… It’ will not produce a high quality wine. An unpruned vine will produce short shots further away from the trunk, hence why we prune to retain the plant to its desired area.
The pruning will help to regularise the production of grapes, qualitatively and quantitatively.
It’s a long work which must be done each year, manually, vine by vine.  It’s a real skill to prune efficiently and effectively that’s why wine growers usually keep it in house.