Winter pruning, the start of a new season
It is pruning time at Mellasat! Every day we here the sound of pruning shears from the pruning team.
Pruning is an important time in the vineyards as this affects the growth and in return determines the quality of the grapes.
Pruning takes place in the winter when the vines are in dormancy. Why do we prune? Pruning is done to space out the shoots to allow sunlight penetration for fruit flavours to develop, colour development and phenolics as well as air circulation which lowers the risk of rot and mildew.
Pruning is an art and when one prunes it influences the growth of the vine for the next two growth seasons. Basically, pruning is cutting off unwanted shoots and only leaving a few canes for the production of fruit for the next season.
At Mellasat the first team is brush cutting, making the final pruning easier for the skilled operators. Brush-cut pruning is where the teams cut away the long canes and pulling them out of the trellis wires. Approximately 30cm of shoots are left for the final pruning.
Final pruning is where one prunes to two buds per spur. This is very important for the next vintage' growth. By pruning one can determine the yield.
Avral Abrahams and Hentry Botha, our cellar assistants are pruning the Viognier and the Tempranillo blocks. These vines are still relatively young and need special attention to ensure that we have a balanced yield, so he prunes to two buds per spur and there are 10 spurs per vine.
The vineyard work carried out now determines the quality of the grapes that eventually ends up as the wine in your glass!