Winter time in the vineyard is very important. What happens at the beginning of the year sets the tone for the vintage to come. Cassidy Hill Vineyards in Coventry, CT was kind enough to send me some photos of what is going on in their vineyard this winter. As you can see there is a lot of snow but once the snow melts they will get back to pruning. It looks like it’s their vineyard dog’s favorite activity, don’t you think? 🙂 Notice the close up pictures of the vines below. There is an example of a non-pruned vine and what the vine looks like after they went through and pruned.
Pruning can be a very tedious task. The grapes are only harvested off of 2nd year wood. Therefore, off of each spur you prune down to one cane. Off of each cane you prune down to two buds and each bud will grow into a new cane. Each cane will then have 2 clusters. It sounds simple enough but many vineyard managers will tell you it can be difficult and time consuming. The next time you drive by your local vineyard take a look at what stage of life the grapes are in. Are they dormant? Have the vines been pruned? Do you see bud break? Just because it isn’t harvest, doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done in the vineyard.