Shoot Thinning in Shed Block Shiraz

13

October 2017

We’re shoot thinning in the Kurtz Vineyard Shed Block Shiraz today, one of the most important jobs in the vineyard in spring. It’s a pretty time-consuming process, but well worth it to get the best out of the vines and maximise potential quality.
While the young shoots are still soft and pliable, we nip out by hand any shoots that shouldn’t be there. In winter, we pruned each vine to the ideal number of buds (which ultimately become shoots bearing fruit) to produce the best quality. But sometimes the vine thinks otherwise and shoots out a few more. Some won’t be fruitful and simply crowd the vine. Others will bear fruit and cause overcropping.

There are a lot of benefits to shoot thinning. And better vines mean better wine!

There are a lot of benefits to shoot thinning. We’re trying to create little ‘windows’ of space along the cordon. This means less crowding of shoots and better airflow within the canopy, helping prevent disease. It also allows dappled light to reach the grape bunches as they ripen, resulting in better colour and flavour development.
Shoot Thinning: Before & After
Shoot thinning refocuses the vine’s energy into the shoots we want to be there. Fewer shoots means fewer bunches, so the vine’s nutrients are concentrated into these bunches, resulting in better flavour concentration.

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by Caroline Dunn

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