Converting 4 Varieties of Mature Winegrapes to Mechanical Pruning

During the first funded year, the project went as outlined in the grant proposal time line. The pruning treatments were imposed as described at all five sites. At harvest time gross and net yields were taken. Bunch counts and berry counts were recorded. Samples were pulled and sent via courier to Canandaigua Wine Company were they were analyzed for sugar, acid and color. The winery did not report any problems with any of the loads sent in. One thing we noticed without taking data was the virtual elimination of bunch rot in the Chenin blanc, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay in both mechanical pruning treatments.

During the spring all of the varieties had to be trimmed to eliminate canes and fruit that were hanging below the cordon and low enough to not be easily harvested mechanically. Chenin blanc on both mechanical pruning systems required the most fruit to be removed. This is due to its low growth habit.

PDF: Converting 4 Varieties of Mature Winegrapes to Mechanical Pruning