Inside Knights Bridge
Removal of Previous Year's Growth
Many of our loyal customers have asked us to keep them updated on our vineyard practices. Starting this month, we are posting a series of Journals describing our current project in the vineyards – pruning.
Many of our loyal customers have asked us to keep them updated on our vineyard practices. Starting this month, we are posting a series of Journals describing our current project in the vineyards – pruning. In our second posting, we’ll discuss the removal of the previous year’s growth. Click here to read our first Journal on Spur and Cane Pruning.
The removal of the shoots from the previous harvest is often done in late January and early February. Keeping the old shoots on the vine during winter helps to avoid the spread of the fungus Eutypa and helps prevent frostbite in newly emerging buds. Pruning allows moisture to enter the wounds, which can lead to a Eutypa infection. This devastating disease first attacks the canes or “arms” of the vine and eventually kills the entire plant, so it is important to avoid pruning during particularly wet months. Pruning also promotes new bud activity. Growers tend to wait until the end of January or the beginning of February to prune the old shoots in hopes that the new shoots will emerge in the middle of March decreasing the chance of winter frost damage. Frost at bud break destroys the buds of the plant, which house the clusters, thus significantly lowering the crop yields. In 2008 Northern California had severe frost in April, which significantly lowered yields throughout the area.
This journal highlights many of the pruning practices of Knights Bridge Vineyards. Most vineyard managers, including our own, use these general practices changing things slightly depending on the vineyard site. Information for this journal came primarily from an interview with Josh Clark Vineyard Manager at Clark Vineyard Management, from www.sdaws.org/Growing/Pruning.htm, and information gathered at UC Davis workshops.