Hey there! This is the first video in a year-long series we will be doing in the vineyard. This is so that you can come to understand what happens in a single growing season. It is January here in Lake Chelan. Some years we have snow on the ground, other years it looks just like it does right now.
When to prune?
The vines are in dormancy, so they are just hanging out until it gets warm enough in the spring to start bud break. Typically, that is in early April for us, and then they start their season all over again. During dormancy is the point at which we could prune the vines if we want to. We typically wait until March. It is just a little more pleasant to be out here. We usually won’t have snow on the ground, and the vines are still in dormancy, so we’re still totally cool to be doing some pruning.
One thing I wanted to introduce you to right now because you can see everything, is the anatomy of a grapevine. Here is what we call the trunk of the vine. Then you have the spot at which we’ve allowed two shoots when we first brought this vine up to go in both directions. Those shoots, once established, are now called the cordon. Up from the cordon, we have shoots or canes. If we were to continue to grow these and not prune them, then we could establish another cordon if we wanted to. We could perhaps take a shoot up and bring it across. That’s not how we’re farming this vine, so that’s not what we’re going to do, but it’s a potential thing that could happen.
In our case, we’re going to come along and two-bud prune these vines. It’s what we do every single year. We look for the right spot after one bud, then two buds and then we’ll clip right there. That’s what pruning will look like for us in a few months. For now, that’s the anatomy of a grapevine and the situation here in the vineyard in January. The vines are just leisurely hanging out through the winter, reinvigorating, waiting for spring to happen, and the whole season to begin all over again.