From budburst and veraison through harvest to dormancy we will follow the season in the vineyard.
The vineyard is once again a hive of activity. The vines are dormant during winter making June and July the optimum time for pruning. Grapevines are pruned for a number of reasons including maintenance of the vine shape and training system and selection of the fruiting wood however the main purpose is to regulate yields from the vine. If too many fruiting buds are left on a vine, the vine will try to produce too much fruit leading to overcropping. A consequence of this may be under-ripe fruit and dilution of flavour, aroma and colour.
At Tallis Wine we spur prune our vines. Two permanent cordons are trained along our trellis system, and along these cordons we remove the previous years fruiting canes which are two years old and any excess one year old canes. Fruit is only produced from the shoots that grow from one year old canes. Therefore we prune these one year old canes back to 2 buds per spur. This leads to production of 4 bunches per spur, so approximately 40 to 60 bunches per vine. We have found this yield just right for the age of our vines and our grapegrowing conditions.
May is a fairly quiet time in the vineyard. Vintage is well and truly over in our region and the vines are turning golden and losing their leaves. We will be putting about 400 lambs into the vineyard in the next week or so to keep the Casino Dkaplan weeds under control, which is a far more preferable option than weedicides. Pre-pruning is due to start at the beginning of June. The vines are going into their dormancy stage, so we don't need to worry about water requirements now until the spring.