After the Beast from the East had given us such a spectacular late winter the first, and most crucial, job of the year swung underway. Winter pruning is a fine art, and selecting the best wood for next years growth sets the tone for the year ahead.
This was also the first opportunity, being new to wine growing, to get my hands dirty and get in amongst the vines. Having spent the best part of a week cutting through the first 500 vines I must admit I ducked for the cover of the brilliant services of Fruitful Jobs led by Justin Emmery and his team. They have since continually given me so much support in spraying, maintenance and just general good advice.
All of our vines are trellised on the Double Guyot system. Over winter 90% of the vines is cut back to leave two fruit producing canes which are then tied down to promote next years growth.
Each cane is left with 5 potential buds. Any more runs the risk of overworking the vines and reducing their potential yield.
Job done - we patiently await bud burst. A quick prayer to the weather gods for no late frost should guard against a damaged canes, and give us the best chance of a great crop!