Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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desuckering, the viticultural practice of removing unwanted young shoots. Known in most parts of France as épamprage, the practice is common to most vineyards of the world. Typically, the shoots removed are either on the trunk or in the head of the vine, and grow in spring from buds surviving in the old wood. These shoots are termed water shoots and for the majority of vine varieties have no bunches of grapes. Varieties differ in their production of water shoots; gewürztraminer, for example, produces many. The operation is carried out in spring, several weeks after budbreak, when the water shoots are 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in) long. The work is relatively tiresome, as for many vineyards the shoots can be near the ground, although shoots can be removed from trunks mechanically by mounting a rotating cylinder with rubber straps attached on the front of a tractor.