Today we are talking about the pruning methods in the vineyards of Brunello in Montalcino; they can can be influenced and therefore vary according to the location of the vine, its fertility and the different climatic conditions.
Vine Pruning Methods
Cordon trained method
The cordon trained method of the vine is undoubtedly the most used. It should be used on screws with excellent productivity. The perennial trunk from which the shoots start is L or T-shaped. In the spurred cordon the stem of the vine grows and stretches horizontally until it reaches the next vine. It develops on three wires stretched between the poles and the stem can even reach one meter in height. One of the advantages of this method is a denser cultivation.
The Guyot pruning method, which takes its name from its researcher a hundred years ago, provides a lower stem than that of the cordon trained system, with a spur with two buds. Only one fruit-bearing shoot is selected. Also in this case the vine develops on three threads, the first will serve as a support for the fruiting head, on the other two the shoots will be tied. The method called double Guyot, on the other hand, is characterized by the presence of two shoots.
The Guyot method has always been used on the vine, but then the spurred cordon became a more modern form of pruning, faster and easier to manage. On the contrary, the Guyot system requires more cuts every year, it requires a binding of the fruit head which is not normally done in the spurred cordon.
The Guyot method, however, is now being used always more frequently to reduce the aging of the plant and to prevent diseases; in fact, the fruit-bearing garment is new every year, so the risks of disease are much lower.
The pruning of the vine at Il Paradiso di Frassina
At Il Paradiso di Frassina, also known as Mozart’s vineyard, the vines are 20 years old. Normally the vines were pruned with the cordon trained method, the fruit head was kept on the cord, on the first wire, always the same.
The wood gradually aged and we went to cut the future cuts (small spurs on the cord with the gems), which we then pruned and the base cord always remained the same.
From Cordon Trained system to Guyot method
This year we decided to make a transformation from the cordon trained method to Guyot, a pruning system that protected our vines from frost damage during last year’s spring frost.
Having been pruned with this system, the vines were saved from the frost and had very little damage.
Considering environmental risks, we have therefore decided to switch to the Guyot method for all of our vineyards, even if we have to invest more. The vine pruned with this system is also more regular in production over the years. The bunches themselves are able to distribute themselves better on the fruiting head, so why not follow what nature suggests?
Compared to the spurred cordon, in fact, budding is slightly delayed, and in addition to this advantage, the production is better distributed on the plant, and the fruit is always on new wood, the shoot will then be folded down, tied to the thread and that will be the fruiting head for this 2022.
The wood from which the future clusters will be born will always be a one-year-old wood, a new wood, and this is an advantage in decreasing the risk of wood and plant diseases. We will have a plant that ages much more slowly.
This year we have therefore made more important cuts on the vine, that we will protect with natural products.
We can say that nature has given us a suggestion, why not go along with it? 🙂