Want to make great wine? First of all, you will need well ripen and healthy grapes. And this can only be achieved through several vineyard work activities during the season. When to start with yearly work activities depends on the climate, weather conditions, season, grape variety, and the size of your vineyard, among others.
Main yearly vineyard work activities are:
the first yearly work activity that has to be done in the vineyard. Depending on the environmental conditions in your vineyard, the work is usually carried out between December and March. When pruning the vines, most of one and two-year old wood should be cut, and if necessary also the older woods.
Several canopy management practices has to be done each year in order to keep the crop on the proper level and harvest the highest-quality grapes. After bud break, the shoots grow rapidly and in May it’s time to tie them up between the wires. Depending on the various circumstances, blooming starts somewhere between May and June. In summer is time for leaf trimming, leaf thinning, shoot thinning, shoot positioning and cluster removal.
Fertilization is a vineyard work activity that doesn’t need to be carried out each year, it depends on vineyard management strategy and fertilizer used. What is important is that fertilization is based on soil and/or leaf analysis results in order to provide the best possible conditions for the grapevine to growth.
Vineyard floor management
Time of intensive shoots growing is also a good time for floor management, such as loosening the soil, mulching, weeding, etc. When grape berries start to develop they need more water, and since that’s in summer, winegrowers with floor management practices prevent weeds to compete with vines for stored water resources.
Disease and pests control
Through the whole growing season, diseases and pest can harm vines. For preventing the damage, constant monitoring of the situation in the vineyard is crucial. The most crucial times for grape disease and pest control are spring and summer months.
Harvest time depend on climate, variety, and weather conditions in the given year. On the Northern hemisphere, grapes are harvest between August and October. Harvest time is determined by the amount of sugar and acid in the grapes and, pH of the grape.
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Featured image: The art&science of pruning the vine; Napa Private Tours