44 Live: Canopy Management
Jun. 28, 2017
The name of the wine growing game is BALANCE. When it comes to perfecting how each and every vine deals with mother nature, canopy management is the one most important aspects utilized, and you need the right amount of balance. There are a few crucial elements that make up how you manage a vines canopy.
Pruning sets the tone, prior to the growing season, for the canopy and crop levels. This will ultimately affect the amount and length of the shoots based on how much and how far you prune. Pruning helps designate where you want the fruit to come from, how much fruit you want being produced and removes old fruiting-canes, because fruit is only produced on one-year-old canes.
Vertical Shoot Positioning
Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) provides a system of support through the trellis to lift vine shoots up and leave the fruiting zone close to the trunk. This allows the cordon (fruiting arm of the vine) to focus more intently on the grapes when they need it. The wires above the cordon train the vines, through clipping or tying, to grow upward which also allows for maximum airflow through the vine canopy. Wind is extremely important because dry leaves inhibit the formation of vine diseases and pests.
Leaf removal must be done in a strategic and timely manner to prevent sunburn and still allow for maximum ripening. This is the practice of removing the right amount of leaves so that the clusters attain maximum ripeness and are exposed to the right amount of sun. Like with humans, too much sun will cause sunburn and too little will inhibit ripeness.