Carried out after leaf fall, the main purpose being to control the quantity of grapes per plant. Pruning severity depends on plant vigor, with plant density (number of vines per hectare) being a factor. Pruning produces stress for the vine, but leads to higher quality fruit. Modes of pruning include:
– short pruning, with spurs*; including head pruning, or bilateral cordon pruning, where the vine is separated in two arms, each arm carrying several spurs;
– long pruning, with canes*; in this case (called ‘Guyot’ pruning), the load* must be particularly well estimated. Otherwise, as the vine grows from the extremity, the longer the cane, the bigger the difference in growth of the different buds. Differences in berry maturity on the same vine most usually mean lower wine quality.
*canes : previous year’s shoots left on vine at pruning; length depends on production objectives
*load : total number of buds left on vine at pruning
*spur : previous year’s shoot cut back at pruning so as to bear only 1 or 2 buds