Influence of Vine Trellis/Training System on Growth, Yield, Fruit

The experiment being conducted is a long term investigation of the influence of training system on vine performance and the incidence of Eutypa dieback in a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. The goal of this experiment is to develop cultural practices which will reduce vine losses from Eutypa and reduce production costs without a reduction in yield or fruit quality. Warm weather produced excellent early season growth which enhanced canopy development and advanced fruit maturity. Minimally pruned vines were skirted in early June to reduce crop load and facilitate cultural practices. Symptoms of Eutypa infection were observed in the plot during Spring 1996 for the first time. Additional vines with foliar symptoms of Eutypa were identified during Spring 1997. Eutypa symptoms were only observed in hand-pruned, cordon-trained treatments. Training system had a significant effect on yield and components of yield in 1996. Yield was higher for the minimal pruning treatment and lowest for head trained – cane pruned treatment. High yield resulted from increased clusters per vine. Cluster number was greatest for minimally-pruned vines while cluster weight, berry weight, and berries per cluster were among the lowest when compared to the other treatments. In general, large yield for the minimal pruning treatment resulted in delayed fruit maturation. Soluble solids and pH were lower for vines which were minimally pruned. Potassium content was greatest for the Hudson River Umbrella treatment and lowest for the machine pruning with hand follow-up treatment. Titratable acidity and anthocyanin content did not differ significantly between treatments. Training system also had a significant effect on vegetative growth. Growth, as measured by mature nodes per vine, was greatest for bilateral cordon and lowest for minimally pruned or machine pruned vines. Vines which were minimally pruned had more shoots per vine than all other treatments.