Pruning marks the start of the growing season. It is our first chance to effect wine quality and takes into account the desired crop load of the vine, canopy density and fruit spacing.
Vines at Stillwater Creek are cordon pruned. In cordon pruning, the trunk is formed from the ground up to the fruiting wire and out the fruiting wire to the mid-point of the adjacent vines.
Typically two bud spurs are evenly spaced along the cordon to achieve the desired shoot density and yield potential.
Cordon Suckering, Shoot Selection and Shoot Positioning
The purpose of cordon suckering, shoot selection and shoot positioning is to achieve optimal shoot density and distribution that will allow ideal sunlight penetration for photosynthesis, fruit distribution and proper amounts of sunlight on the fruit. At Stillwater Creek, we complete cordon suckering and shoot selection twice, to remove unwanted shoots along the cordon, achieve an equal distribution of shoots along the wire, renew shoot positions that have been lost to freeze damage or positions that over time have become too high or have lost position on the cordon, and to achieve our criteria of about 4 shoot per foot of wire.
During the second pass through the vineyard, shoot positioning begins. The shoots on the east side of the vine are positioned vertically through the trellis, attempting to keep shoots from crossing as much as possible. On the west side of the vine, some shoots will be positioned vertically while others will be allowed to sprawl out into the row to help protect the west side fruit from sunburn.