Grape Vines didn't reach the top wire...

brian2412December 15, 2009

IÂm looking for some advice/discussion about how to proceed.

I planted 7 different grape vines this spring with various results (Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sangiovese, Tempranillo). I planted a little late (April/May) here in Richland, WA (Washington Wine Country) in my sandy (QuD), Alkaline soil. IÂm training these to a single cordon but only one of the vines made it to the top wire this first year (Chardonnay). The others had varying growth between 3-4 feet with the exception of the Tempranillo (planted latest  late May  and only grew up 12-18". I pinched all grape growth (clusters) when I saw them, and once one of the shoots came out about 6 inches I rubbed the others off to concentrate growth vertically.

In researching how to proceed (pruning wise) IÂve received conflicting information:

1) Some say to prune back to 2-3 buds and essentially start overÂ

2) Some say to let them beÂthey will reach the top wire early in the second year and will continue to grow just fine.

3) Some say to prune back to where the trunk is at least as thick as a pencilÂ

How do you recommend I proceed? These are aligned in our back yard for astheticsÂI wonÂt be making wine or anythingÂjust want them to grow up fasterÂ

Here are photoÂs of the grapes so you can see their growth rates. The bottom wire is at 3 feet and the top is at 5 feet. Thank you for your help!!!

Cabernet Sauvignon (about 4 feet growth)

Pinot Noir (3-4 feet growth) (Sorry not the best photo):

Riesling (3-4 feet growth) (Again, not the best photo):

Tempranillo (12 inches growth  planted very late, but not very vigorous):

Chardonnay (5+ feet of growth):

Sangiovese (4 feet growth):

Merlot (~4 feet growth):

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Thank you all for your replies! I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 12:07AM
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