Another session in WineGrowing Bootcamp at Millbrook Vineyards taught us about vertical shoot removal and shoot positioning.  Our goal is to achieve a balanced vine of just the right amount of leaves to fully ripen the grapes.

What was interesting is that Tocai produces sterile shoots.  Shoots that have no fruit on it.  The first thing to do when looking at your vines is to pull off the sterile shoots.    A perfect vine will have 20 shoots with fruit, 10 on each side.  (You might have to go to a perfect world to find the perfect vine 🙂

Once we get rid of the sterile shoots we need to look around the base. We had to pick the three strongest shoots and pull the rest.  These renewal shoots are what we will use next year.

Lastly we had to clean up the overlaps where to make sure all shoots were happy and had enough space.

Flowering Chardonnay

We then walked over to the Chardonnay vines to see them flowering. During a typical year, Chardonnay doesn’t usually begin to flower until around June 14.  This is really early, but considering we had bud break mid April, timing is right.