We finished pruning last week and now one person is dedicated to mowing and another to spraying fungicide. The rest of our vineyard crew will work to get our Marquette tucked up into the catch wires and then we’ll work on removing suckers from the Edelweiss and tying those vines to the trellis.
We’ve been asked why we invest so much effort in getting the vines up on a trellis. The answer is, first of all, that it’s not just about making the vineyard look good although a vineyard with all the vines properly tied to the trellis wires looks fantastic! Our objective is to grow high quality grapes that we can harvest mechanically in August and September. We need to position the vines on the trellis so that we get lots of sunlight on the fruit itself without allowing it to get burned by the hot sun. The vines have not flowered yet so we focus right now on getting the rapidly growing vines tucked into the catch wires on VSP (vertically shoot position) trellised vines. Vines that are on high wire cordon trellises just need to be tied so that trunks are straight and the arms are on the trellis wires. This will position the fruit so that we can mechanically harvest it.
In the parts of our vineyard where the vines are young, we are tying the vines to the pencil rod (so the trunks grow straight) and the arms to the high wire.
This work has to be done yearly because the ties we use are a natural jute material that degrades in the weather. We intentionally use this kind of tying material because we don’t want to girdle the vines with plastic or rubber ties.