Step One: Pruning
The very first step in preparing for this year’s harvest is to prune the vineyards. Pruning is crucial because fruit is produced only on shoots coming out of one-year-old canes or spurs, so making way for new canes every year is necessary to have a crop for the coming year. Pruning consists of trimming down all the previous year’s canes in order to control the production of grapes and the flow of energy produced by the vines.
The pruning process can begin anytime after leaf drop in the previous fall to a few weeks before spring. For Carr, we began pruning in January with our Pinot Noir vines and we end with the Cabernet Franc.
Pruning can be done in many different ways all dependent on the viticulturist’s preference, grape varietal, and vineyard trellis system. A few of the pruning techniques we use are cane pruning, unilateral and bilateral cordon, as well as head trained pruning. Each style brings a little something different to the way the vines grow and produce their fruit and receive sunshine, water, and nutrients.