Yesterday I was fortunate enough to learn how to prune the vineyard, in dry vineyards in the north of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, with a winegrower as a teacher, who in turn learned not only from his grandfather, but also from his constant trainings regarding the world of Canarian wine and viticulture (1). Quite a luxury, if we take into account that some vines are around 100 years old, because the Canary Islands, because of its remoteness, was freed from the plague of the vine.
First I had a good time listening to the explanations, and watching how the vineyard is pruned. Then they left me, under the watchful eye of the winegrower, to start practicing what I learned in parras of grape types; black listan, white listan, and negramol.
Pruning is the most important part of the winemaking process ? Depends on how it is made, it will affect not only the harvest, but also the production process. Hence this teacher spends several days pruning fondly.
Steps to prune the vineyard
The vineyard pruning could be summarized in the following steps;
- Do it carefully and patiently, because once you cut, there is no turning back. So take a good look before you prune.
- Pruning from back to front, to see better how the vine and its rods will develop
- Look at the vine, in this case leaning on vegetable trellises, and see where their rods are headed
- If you’re not sure, then you can redirect the rods to the back, and if necessary tangle them on the vegetable trellises before pruning
- If you see a rod coming out of the ground, attached to the trunk of the parch, you can bury it (bury the first part of the rod), to remove the remaining part of the rod on the other hand, and thus cover a nearby space
- Ideally there should be 2 rods in the shape of the letter “V”, with distance between them, so that they do not get hindered when growing, and oriented to grow vertically or close to the vegetable trellises
- You can take a third or fourth rod, tangle it on the vegetable trellises, and then take it out to cover another space
- Pruning over the node, and diagonally, so that the tear that comes off the rod goes in the opposite direction to the node
- Pruning rods that come out towards the ground from the root, because diseases can not only come from the top, but also from the bottom of the vine
- The part of the rod that you prune, you can cut it into smaller pieces and throw them to the ground, so that when it rains it retains the water, instead of running downhill
- Completely prune, from the root, the rods that go in the opposite direction to the vegetable trellises, and you can take advantage of them to replant, once you have removed the heel (the thicker bottom part)
- If it is a thin rod cut from the third node from the root of the rod, and if it is thick you can cut it from the second node
- Prune the small rods you see dry, top to bottom, because you may encounter the green part of the rod
- Pruning the rest of the rods to grow as close to the vegetable trellises as possible
Here are some other tips I learned;
- Pruning must be done between December and February
- The vegetable trellises should be about 6 feet high, so that the sun reaches all the leaves, and grow as much as possible
- The streets of the trellises must have a distance from each other of about 6 feet, for the same reason, and because it facilitates all the work of the vineyard, including pruning and harvesting
- Putting rose bushes in the vineyards, because it would give the ⚠ warning that a disease is coming in, as they are so delicate that they would catch it first
If you want to know more, ask us the question in the comments, we will ask the winegrower, and we will answer you as soon as possible.
(1) Link to see the training offered by the Cabildo (Government) of Tenerife; https://formacionagraria.tenerife.es/
Thank you very much for the visit, and see you soon!