Once a vintage is well and truly over, the next phase of seasonal work at the winery commences in earnest pruning. It takes almost 4 months to hand-prune all of the vines on our Clare Valley estate.
The buds that will grow into the crop for our next harvest began forming in November and December the previous year. It's these buds that will be managed with the current pruning regime in preparation for the next phase of the vine's lifecycle which occurs in spring budburst, flowering and fruit-set. Information gathered from the microscopic dissection of the forming buds which was carried out in May is used to plan the pruning regime. It's the job of our vineyard team to make these important decisions. Essentially we prune as a way of manipulating the crop for the following year's harvest.
If the vines are not pruned each year, they would grow in an uncontrolled manner and we would have no means to manage the quality of crop that is the source of our wines. This manipulation of the vine by way of pruning serves a number of purposes that ultimately boils down to quality control. It's a way to not only control yield, but also bunch placement along each vine (called the fruit zone) and to ensure that the vine maintains a healthy balance and therefore is able to develop its fruit in ideal conditions.
You can't employ a blanket approach to pruning either as each variety of vine behaves differently so a slightly different pruning regime is needed to bring out their best. So there you have it; pruning - another crucial step we take when crafting fine wine for your enjoyment!