The arrival of low temperatures is a warning for growers that the pruning season begins. At Koyle, we are preparing for this task, which is crucial for the health and longevity of the vines. This season, and for the fourth year, we will apply the method learned from the Italian specialists Simonit and Sirch, a conservative pruning that avoids the deterioration of the vineyard, and whose basic principle is to respect the flow of the sap in the plant.
One of the characteristics of this method of pruning is that its less traumatic for the plant. In modern viticulture, the vines have less space which makes it difficult to control the bunches, so the trend is to cut a lot to recompose the arm and not move away from the axis. The result is that at the center of the vines there is a lot of dry wood that can be attacked by fungi. This results in plants that at 25 years old are no longer productive and has to be replaced by new ones, being that a plant should live, at least, 80 years with good production.
What the Italians Marco Simonit and Pierpaolo Sirch propose is a controlled growth of the vine maintaining a good system of circulation of the sap, which implies making cuts only on the young wood of one or two years of age, pruning respecting the buds of the crown, and leave a “log of respect”, which means, a space so that the drying zone of the wood is outside and does not reach into the sap. In this way, there will be many more possibilities of accumulation of reserve substances, and the more constant and regular formation of the grape. In fact, in these three years in Koyle we have already noticed improvements in the stylization of yields and in the fight against wood diseases.