It’s that time of year to get the secateurs out in the vineyard to prune back the vines to ensure we have the best buds coming through in spring! Didier was over from France to oversee the first few days with the team and even the Somms got involved!

What is it and Why do we do it?!

Winter Pruning – What is it?

This is the act in which you remove any unwanted canes and permeant wood to control the number and positioning of buds on the vine.

There are many different techniques you will find across the vineyards over the world from the tall ‘Pergolas’ of Italy where you can walk under the vines as they drape across supports above head level to allow airflow through the vineyard and preventing frost, down too ‘Bush Vines’ in Spain which have deep set roots, these roots can get to water resources and richer/more nutrients which are deeper in the soil and not just in the top layers of the soil which helps them with the dry conditions of where they are grown.

In the U.K especially for Sparkling Wine we use what is known as a ‘Trellised Vineyard’ – this means that there are rows of vines evenly spaced to not take too much nutrients from each other but also to not give too much too each other to make sure they do not get over vigorous. There are posts at either end of each line with tensioned wires that can be released and moved running from top to bottom. The vines are trained using these wires to grow upwards which is known in the industry as ‘Vertical Shoot Positioning’, we do this by tying small sections of the vine to the wires above, these are kept an eye on whilst growing to ensure the best positioning throughout the growing season. This way of training vines gives you more control over ‘Summer Pruning’ techniques that you can use. This also enables ‘Machine Harvesting’ – at Quob Park Estate we believe that we have more control in the winery with ‘Hand Harvesting’ our grapes – this is common practise in Champagne and falls under their appellation wine laws, we do our upmost to follow these laws.


Winter Pruning – Why do we do it?

There are many reasons that in the winter we will ‘prune’ however in winter the main reasoning is;

Grape Vines are vigorous plants that climb as they grow, the more a vine grows and climbs the amount nutrients going to each bud lessens. Wine growers prune to control this vigorous activity from the plants and therefore concentrating the nutrients in the vine to the controlled amounts of buds.