Vineyard Tips for Spring 2021

The growth phase of grapevines varies based on climate, weather, and grape variety. Since there are so many different conditions for grapevine growth and grape development, not every grapegrower is on the exact same schedule. However, as pruning season commences and we head into spring and summer, vine management is on everyone’s mind. 

Unfortunately, with port congestion, scarcity of trucking, and supply and demand pressures continuing to impact pricing and availability of vineyard supplies, we are doing our best to support our customers’ needs as we head into busier times around the vineyard. As you plan out your canopy management and bird control practices, we encourage you to pre-order your supplies to ensure you have what you need when you need it. Give us a call at (707) 963-5354) or send us a message here and we’ll be happy to assist.

Below are some common practices across vineyard management and the tools you’ll need to get the job done.

Grape Flowering and Shoot Thinning

As the first stage of the vine cycle that yields grapes each fall, bud break is one of the most exciting times in vineyards around the world with new growth appearing on the vines. After bud break, the shoots grow rapidly and in May it’s time to tie them up between the wires. Several canopy management practices have to be done each year in order to keep the crop on the proper level and to harvest the highest-quality grapes.

As grape flowering or blossom commences in late spring, roughly 40-80 days after bud break, leaf pulling and shoot thinning are crucial activities for grape growers. These practices allow for increased air movement and controlled light penetration within the vine’s canopy. The airflow helps to keep pests away while the varied light prevents the grapes from sunburning. The amount of fruit found on a cluster of grapes often varies according to each specific grape variety and the growing conditions in which the grapes are planted.

Since tasks like leaf trimming, leaf thinning, shoot thinning, shoot positioning, and cluster removal are imperative, we have canopy management clips and machetes, as well as thinning shears on hand to help you get this critical step done. 

Bird Control and Netting

Since spring and summer are often the most crucial times for protecting vines against birds, we encourage you to pre-order bird control supplies such as bird netting, shade cloth, bread clips, and reflective bird scare tape, early to avoid any delays.