Two basic options: Cane pruning

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Cane pruning became common after the 1860 studies of the Frenchman Dr Guyot. In traditional French vineyards each vine is typically pruned to one cane with six to eight buds and one spur with two buds. During winter pruning the cane from the previous year is cut off and a new one laid down, using one of the canes arising from the spur. The number of buds on the cane depends on regional tradition and the small print of the appellation contrôlée laws. For example, eight buds may be left on Syrah canes in the Côtes du Rhône; eight on all major varieties in Burgundy; in Bordeaux seven buds is the maximum for Sémillon in Sauternes but six for Muscadelle. These small bud numbers per cane (and hence cane length) contrast greatly with those used for wine grapes in other regions where vine vigour is higher. For example, in vigorous irrigated vineyards in Australia it is not uncommon to see up to ten canes, each with up to 15 buds, left on a single vine after winter pruning. Of course, these vines are planted further apart than their Old World counterparts, as discussed in new world.