My first test in the vineyard: pruning

Here I go. Four months after entering my new home in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada, it is time to get some work done in the vineyard. I have never done that before. Thanks to a number of books that I have read during the past few months, I hope I did not screw up too much.

The theory of how to prune vines is one thing but when you get next to the plant, things are a little bit less obvious. That little vineyard is a bit old. Nobody can tell me exactly how old but my guess is 20 years or so and many of the vines have grown in some funky ways. I have to spend quite a bit of time in front of each plant to figure out how to make it look like those polished commercial vineyards.Some of the plants looked quite tormented to me and I guess they need more than just pruning technique. I am going to need just as much artistic creativity.

Tormented vine 1

Tormented vine 2

Anyway, it is better not to think too much and start doing.The apprentice vintner

Close-up pruning

The rationale behind how to prune is rather simple and the only way to find out whether I have the slightest clue and what I am doing is right or not is to get cutting. The coming weeks in the spring will let me know if I passed or failed.

I have to admit that I have had a lot of fun pruning the vines. Although the vineyard is rather small, as I counted 163 plants, it took me two days to get it done.
The result looks reasonable to me but Nature will have to confirm, though. My hands have also learned a thing or two during this couple of days. Ouch, typing hurts today.

After pruning
Now, I have a stack of trimmings to go through.Trimmings
I had to saw some large stumps to aerate the vines and I hear it is fair wood for heating. I guess some of it will end up on the wood pile. I also read that grapevine trimmings a great for barbecuing. In particular, it is supposed to give a nice mild flavor to poultry and fish. I am going to investigate that and if it is the case, I will try to find a few customers who could be interested.

Well, the first test is done. Now, I just have to wait for the buds to sprout and for new shoots to come out for some more vineyard fun work. At least, that is what I hope it to be.


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