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Grape Clusters... Do I Have Too Many?

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#1 Joel


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Posted 06 May 2004 - 12:10 PM

I was curious to see how many grape clusters I should want on my vines, so I know how many to remove to ensure good grape flavor and growth. It seems that the grape clusters are just everywhere on the vines. THe vines are in their third year, so I'm hoping to have my first batch of wine started this fall. I have more photos at: http://www.winepress.us/vinelife-3.htm

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#2 cokoliso


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Posted 06 May 2004 - 12:17 PM

Good question. I had the problem last year of only about a third of the grapes in each cluster developing on a vine I cultivated to have four 20 foot arms. I thought I'd get a lot of grapes, but the bunches were very thin. I hope somebody has some good advice on this subject!

#3 VCV


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Posted 06 May 2004 - 03:23 PM

I dont know about the crop load Joel, I dont know what variety that is, and i cannot see how many flowers are there. I do see some on the trunk (I think) which, would indicate that the vine might be slightly overcropped. If I were you I would look up some books on the variety and try to determine what is an average yield per acre for that variety and extrapolate. Take into account that they are three year old vines.

One thing I noticed right off the bat, you might want to go and get some vines ties and secure that cane a litte better, the fruit weight could pull it right of the cordon, the cane breaks and then you lose the whole thing, just before your ready to harvest. Sometimes tendrils can grab ahold and save it, but, I would not risk it. Normally I wrap my cane alot tighter than that, with more wraps, and tie it tight on the end.

Hope this helps-John

#4 Carl Haines

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Posted 07 May 2004 - 10:20 AM

I don't know what training method you plain on using. Assuming that you are going to be using high wire cordon, I would remove the shoots that are on the trunk below the cordons. Since you are still establishing those vines you might consider thinning more than usual. If I can find it I will post a link or send you a document on fruit thinning. I think it was from a university in Iowa or Ohio. Currently it is difficult to say how much you should thin because at this point it may be too early to assess the vigor of the vines.

I'm trying to recall how much my vines grew in the first 2 years. Mine has been producing a good number clusters since year two. Unfortunately this is probalby the first year that I think I know how to properly manage my vines. I should get some pictures of my vines so that see what happens when you don't know what to do from the start. You have go to see my trunks. They ain't straight.

Since your vines are still young, I would consider thinning 1/3 to 1/2 of the clusters if you have a good number of fruiting shoots. I would do some reading first though. Also, after removing the shoots from the trunk, how many fruiting shoots do you have? This might help determine how much to thin.

Take my comments with a grain of salt. I only have 4 years experience with *not* managing my vines correctly. Hopefully, this year will be there year I get things right.

Carl Haines

#5 tazzidevil


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Posted 08 May 2004 - 08:07 PM

Do you intend to spur prune or cane prune these plants Joel?

#6 HonkingGooseWine


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Posted 11 May 2004 - 09:43 AM

Without knowing all the details, of your vines. (Discalimer)
Alot of vineyards drop ALL the 3rd leaf/year crop to allow for root and wood growth. I think that is a little over kill. My established vines I prune to 40-60 clusters/vine depending on the vine and it's location. So, I would say that leaving 25% to 50% of a full crop would be a good compromise.

But, after looking at the picture the first thing I would be doing is to prune all the suckers off the trunk and tie the cordon to the wire in aleast 5 to 10 places on each side. Then once the vines are pruned and tied I would leave the best 5 bunches on each side. Just as a note I read that you should drop your clusters before they flower/set the grapes. The research claimed that it didn't help with wood/root production if the clusters were dropped after the grapes formed.

Hay, YOUR plants look very healthy..... Good Job smileycheers.gif

Frank Mason
HonkingGoose Vineyard and Winery
Sonoma, California

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