During the winter the main job in the vineyard is is to prune our 21,000 vines. Alex was well ahead of the game this year with pruning completed a couple of weeks ago. The two remaining fruiting canes on each vine have also been tied down using the "Double Guyot" training method.
Each cane has between eight and ten buds from which will emerge new shoots, each of which will produce on average two bunches of grapes. So we might expect around 20+ bunches of grapes from each vine which will make just over a bottle of wine.
This year we invited members of the public to help us prune during a 'Meet the Vineyard Manager Event' and this was a great was for people to gain a little insight into what goes on.
The winter has been pretty mild this year which probably means that bud burst will start early in a couple of weeks time. We will then have to worry about Spring frosts which can burn off the new shoots. Whilst vines will produce secondary and tertiary shoots they are never as fruitful and there is less time to ripen the fruit. No doubt we will be up in the middle of the night several times this year trying to warm up the vineyard!