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Winter Pruning

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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Close-up of a hand with secateurs cutting a vine covered with ice.
Secateurs used for pruning the vines.

A few images from our winter occupation out in the vineyards - pruning the vines. It’s a lot of time and manual work spent during the cold times of a year.

The exact date is not too important. Pruning can start soon after the last leafes fell and should be finished shortly before the vines start growing again in the spring. We on the other hand, can spare the most time in January and February so that is when winter-pruning usually happens.

Pruning is done by hand using simple secateurs like pictured above. Of course there are more advanced versions available that are electrically powered or use pressurised air to ease the manual cutting. But in any case, a lot of work remains and winter pruning is the single most time consuming work that has to be done in a vineyard throughout a year.

Vines before pruning

Below is a comparison of grapevines of before and after pruning These are from the Blaufränkisch variety but others are treated very much alike them and thus look similar. Yes, one really has to cut the vines back that thoroughly to ensure they will be growing great grapes again in the following season.

Vines after pruning - only one short shoot remains for each vine.
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