History of our vineyard – Winter Pruning.
Pruning is seen by many as the resumption of the vine's vegetative cycle. This operation takes place at different times of the year in Portugal depending on the region, climate, and grape varieties.
It is not advisable to carry out this operation with strong frosts, as the stalks are brittle, and exposing the tissues in the cut area to cold can be lethal for them.
You can choose to prune later, or to prune in two stages. In the first phase, pre-pruning is carried out, in which the rods are removed from the wires. In a second phase, where the vine is already out of danger from possible frost, adjusts the load to the pruning. It is therefore important to start pruning with the latest varieties, those that will blossom later.
As it is well known, pruning consists of cutting the canes of the vine, to discipline and stimulate the growth of the buds responsible for future production.
A rod will be more or less fertile, to some extent, depending on its strength. The vigor depends on the soil, the variety and the pruning practiced in the previous year.
Due to this vigor, we will leave more or less load for pruning. Let's assign a load level depending on the vine's capacity. The objective is to keep the plant in balance so that we can have regular productions, keeping the canes robust and fertile for as long as possible.
When the pruning load is excessive, it is expected that the production will be plentiful, but of lower quality, with the consequent weakening of the vine, which will lead to premature aging over the years.
On the other hand, a lower load will allow a low production, in addition to inducing the breakout of dormant buds in thieves and multiple breaks, causing them to not flourish and shading of the vegetation.
Pruning is, therefore, an operation of great importance in regularizing the production and vigor of the vine.
*Load = number of eyes left for pruning.