January 2020

The alternative to pruning

Many winegrowers and even more "seasonal workers" have been in the vineyard for weeks to cut back the vines. Pruning is still the most time consuming work, that needs to be done by hand in the winegrower's year. Therefore, many winegrowers are looking for an alternative. An the answer is actually very simple: simply don't prune. The technical term for this type of growing system is "non-pruning" or "minimal pruning".

Nothing is pruned here in winter. Only in summer, everything that grows beyond the "hedge" is cut off with a special leaf cutter. However, not every vineyard can be easily converted to this type of growing system. The wire system must be stronger, and the distance between the rows must be wider. As the subsequent bending of the rods and also the stitching is no longer necessary, the winegrower is saving more than half of the working hours. This enables growers to cultivate much larger areas and also produce the wine more affordably.

This type of upbringing only has an impact on the quality in the first two to three years, since if all buds sprout, it suffers from immensely high yields. But this, too, can be diminsihed, by carefully thinning out grapes. After this introductory phase, the advantages outweigh the classic trellis system, since the shoots become partly woody and sprout fewer buds. As more and more shoots are growing, the dreaded May frost does not have as much of an impact. Overall, in a minimal pruning system, the grapes will be smaller, have a thicker skin and are therefore less prone to rot. Due to the large number of grapes, ripening is delayed, which, in view of the climate change, enables later harvesting at cooler temperatures.

The minimal cut may look a little unusual at first, but in the future you will come across it more and more while strolling through the vineyards, as, from an economy-work related point of view, it is much more efficient.

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Contact details:

Rheinhessenwein e.V.

Udo Diel

Otto-Lilienthal-Straße 4

55232 Alzey

Tel: (0049) 6731 951074 18
E-Mail: udo.diel@rheinhessenwein.de

Contact details:

Rheinhessenwein e.V.

Otto-Lilienthal-Straße 4

55232 Alzey

Tel: (0049) 6731 951074 18
E-Mail: udo.diel@rheinhessenwein.de

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