Vine Training Techniques

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007 at 12:00 am

vineIn wine cultivation, factors like weather, amount of sunlight, water, and soil fertility play vital roles in producing the final product. One more very important aspect of wine cultivation is vine training. Training a vine means forcing it grow in a way where the vine yield is optimized, the ripening of the fruits are faster and better, and harvesting is easier as well.

There are varied techniques that are used to train your vines. For instance, training your vines to separate would create space between the leaves allowing better sunlight and air to reach the vines could mean the use of pruning techniques or use of vine training attachments that ties, restricts or position the vines in ways that would be beneficial overall.

Such techniques are part of canopy management which is a rather new concept in grape cultivation. Science and recent studies have been organized to facilitate a better approach in managing the microclimate around the vine to yield the best results and to maintain a sustainable growth of the vine.

Vine training aims to be sustainable, which means for over long periods the vines would continue to produce great harvest with limited complications like vine rots or other diseases.

Going back to vine pruning, vintners use two techniques for pruning the vines in their attempt to train them. The first one is called spur pruning. Spur pruning refers to the removal of a cane that is situated away from the cordon leaving the nearest branch to retain two nodes to produce next year’s spur. The other pruning technique is called cane pruning which involves removing completely two year old canes and most of the growth that came out this year.

Other common methods include the Gobelet. This is a rather old technique and does not use any wires or other system of support. In this technique, the vine is kept short and a lump of old wood is placed on the crown of the vine. As a result, the vines grow in a shape resembling a small bush or shrub. This technique is often used in warmer, drier climates, where the possibility of the vines contracting vine rots is far less.

Dr. Jules Guyot in the 19th century created another technique. Called Guyot pruning, the technique has strong foundations on cane pruning.

Still other methods used for vine training include the cordon training which is similar to gobelet style, vertical trellis where fruiting canes are trained upwards from the trunk, the Geneva double curtain method where the main concept is to improve grape quality by reducing shade in a dense canopy, Scott Henry technique which aims to improve fruit quality and yield from over-vigorous vines, and the Smart Dyson method where it uses two cordons either side of the trunk to train the vines.