Canopy Management

Richard Smart at Denbies

Dr Richard Smart is an Australian viticulturist and a leading expert in canopy management. He is often referred to as "the flying vine doctor". See

Recently Richard visited our vineyard and also gave a Masterclass seminar at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking. The subject of his talk was "Practical Applications of Canopy Management" and covered optimum vigor, vine balance, summer pruning, shoot positioning, shoot and cluster thinning, leaf removal and vine training.

The produce the best fruit the ideal canopy should have the following characteristics:

  • Balanced growth
  • Intercepts as much sunlight as possible
  • Shoots that are spaced about 2.5 inches apart and 15 nodes long
  • 40% canopy gaps and 60% fruit exposure
To achieve this involves a lot of work during the growing season, much of which has to be done manually!