Pride Mountain Vineyards home
May 17, 2010
Shoot Thinning - May 2010

Our dedicated vineyard crew is hard at work with one of spring’s critical tasks – removing excess shoots to create the perfect growing environment for this year’s crop of grapes. Although we prune our vines to leave the appropriate number of buds per vine during the winter (1 – 2 buds per fruiting position, depending on the vigor of the vine), spring’s rain and sunshine inevitably leads to the growth of additional shoots, called “suckers,” from buds hidden deep below the bark. This year we see an unusually large number of suckers, likely due to a wetter than average spring. In addition to being wet, this spring has also been on the cool side (with some pockets of very warm and sunny weather), so our shoots are not growing as rapidly as they would in a “typical” year. For that reason, shoot thinning is especially critical this year. By removing unwanted suckers, all of the plants’ resources will be directed towards the shoots we want to keep, helping their growth to accelerate so that they can catch up to where we’d like them to be. Mother Nature always manages to keep us guessing, but careful vineyard management can overcome many of the small bumps in the road to a successful harvest!

Shown is Javier Alcantar in Winery Vineyard.