Pruning at Caiarossa: “Following the Sap Flow”
Pruning is one of the operations that bring about the most positive impact on the life and health of the vine.
At Caiarossa, we give it considerable focus following three simple but essential concepts:
- Adapt the type of training and pruning method to each different terroir.
- Select the number of buds to leave and let grow according to each training method and each plant’s vigour.
- Promote the vines’ natural branching by ensuring the continuity of sap flow, which provides proper nutrition for the branch and reduces the risk of wood diseases
To carry out our pruning philosophy in the most effective way, we selected two different training and pruning systems to adapt to each vine to our different terroirs.
For the vineyards located around the winery, on a more sandy-clay terroir, we chose the Cordon pruning system, consisting of few but precise steps:
- For each cordon, we leave four spurs.
- We select a shoot that follows the sap flow line on each spur and then leave two buds.
- From each bud, a shoot will grow, giving 1 or 2 bunches.
For the vineyards located at Nocolino, just a few kilometres away from the winery, where more clayey and marls terroir are found, vines are pruned following the Guyot system. The Guyot system, unlike the spur system, doesn’t require a fixed cordon, and we renew every year the “arm” (2 arms in the case of the “double” Guyot) that carry the buds. This method allows us to regulate the number of buds per plant flexibly, and according to the vigour of each vine, we decide how many buds to keep. After that, we cut the buds we don’t want to grow to ensure the right energy for the buds we want to grow.
Once we complete the pruning of all our vines, we walk through the vineyards to remove all the cut canes by hand. These will form part of our compost used in the vineyard the following year.
Our Vineyard Manager Francesco Villa and his right-hand-man Franco spend a lot of time on the quality control of this crucial task during the pruning season to ensure the perfect application of these concepts by our professional workers.
Fun Fact: Although they are the first to be harvested, white varieties are the ones to be pruned latest. In this way, we try to postpone the budding and the ripening of the bunches in order to obtain a better balance between sugars and acidity.