We need more leaf topping and thinning especially around the fruit. Some of the clusters are touching and overcrowded and really should be removed, but it’s just so difficult to cut off a happy cluster.
So today another arduous task of shoot thinning and pulling leaves. All the fruit is set and nearly done flowering. In order for the next phase to take place we need to let in sufficient sun and airflow.
Did we mention these vines grow like weeds? Even though we pruned to 1 to 2 spurs every hands’ width apart; these vines take on a life of their own and want to grow in every direction despite your best efforts to train them.
The best method would probably be to walk the vineyard daily or at least every other day during the growing season, especially early on. Tasks never get any easier when you let things pile up!
Today we mostly pulled shoots that had no fruit production or very little as well as any lower leafage where the fruits will drop as they ripen and get heavier. Spackled sunlight for any fruit on the vine is the goal.
Found this guy on a leaf today. Not sure what it is. No sign of damage.
We may have mentioned this before; but we HATE this part of the vineyard maintenance. It’s July 2nd. What we thought was pruned to 2 buds per spur and each spur being approximately a hands width apart – turns out to be 3-8 buds per spur and some of our spurs are more crowded than a hand apart.
It’s a JUNGLE out there. Baby fruit set everywhere and we have the miserable but necessary task of cutting the shoots off that should not be there, MANY of which are bearing fruit and have strong healthy shoots. If only the Supreme Court would step in and tell us it’s unconstitutional. (Sorry … bad timely pun intended)
We read about it. We watch videos on how to do it, but it’s never that easy. Once the vines start growing vigorously, entangling with the trellis wires and with other plants it’s nearly impossible to separate them and choose who lives and who dies.
Here’s the aftermath of today.
Tonight we took a walk through to see how our efforts to shoot and leaf thin on Monday paid off 5 days later. Things are looking pretty good. No sign of pests – clusters are looking healthy and medium vigor on most of our vines.
It’s June 8th. Our efforts to prevent any fungus from developing is paying off so far.
Chardonnay report: Very good vigor 4 – 10 clusters per vine average. Clusters measure approximately 1-2” in length.
Pinot Noir Report: Medium – Good Vigor (much better than last year) 4 – 6 clusters per vine averaging in size at approximately 1 – 1 1/2” in length.
Take a walk through the vineyard with us.