Caring for a vineyard is truly a labor of love. Undoubtedly learned in planning and planting the vineyard having weathered the first year—labor, patience, a bit of luck, and love go hand in hand. There is something innate within all of us about being part of creation. We grow as part of the process. 

Sustaining the multi-year effort of love is now paramount.

Vine growth should explode during the second season. Pruning now takes center stage. If you don’t have your trellis in place, get it done before growth begins in early spring. There are several vine trellis and pruning approaches, with Vertical Shoot Positioning commonly used for vinifera grapes. The second year’s primary goal is to train the vines to the trellis and encourage continued root development. Grapes are not yet the point and should be discarded as they appear.

The other primary goal during the second season is developing and keeping to a year-round vineyard maintenance routine. The routine includes ongoing vine pruning (how and when), identification of disease and pest threats with remedy applications as needed, trellis care, irrigation service if needed, weed control, ground cover upkeep, wildlife protection (including birds), and weather forecasting including freeze mitigations.

An activity of consequence after the first year’s vine growth involves ordering new rootstock replacing those that didn’t grow the first season or survive the winter. You should have a sense of this late in the first growing season when orders to the nursery should be placed for spring delivery. In the second and subsequent seasons, you can create your own cuttings for vine replacement.

Find online topic links below, helpful in working through multi-year vineyard sustainability requirements.

Spring in the Vineyard Brings Hope and Rebirth (WineEnthusiast)

For winemakers, spring marks the shift from winter dormancy to reawakening. In the vineyard, the groundwork for harvest is laid and important transitions occur, from de-acclimation, bud break, and flowering, to cover crop, vine replanting, and more. Spring isn’t without its hazards, nor immune to the changing climate.

Pruning Vines

Summer in the Vineyard Sets the Stage for Harvest (WineEnthusiast)

For some people, summer means warm temperatures, long days and carefree vibes. For vignerons, summer is hard work. After they prune and prepare the vineyards through the winter and spring, winemakers must shepherd grapes to the finish line. They pull leaves and drop fruit, monitor for diseases and pests, and protect against weather hazards.

Pruned Grapes

Pruning and Training Grapes in the Home Vineyard (University of NH Extension)

Home-grown grapes make excellent wine. A small home vineyard with even just a vine or two can be a beautiful and productive addition to the landscape, yard or patio. In this publication, we discuss the importance of pruning and training grapes and describe some of the training systems that can be used successfully in home vineyards.

7 Most Common Grapevine Diseases (Wine Cooler)

For winemakers, grapevine diseases can be devastating. Unfortunately, there are many kinds of vine diseases that thrive in all sorts of conditions. Bacteria and fungi cause the most common grapevine diseases. Insects can also spread disease and damage roots. Environmental conditions can trigger fungi development that wreaks havoc on grapevines in vineyards.

VSP - Training and Pruning

Dormant Cane and Spur Pruning (PennState Extension)

Grapevine pruning is an important and labor-intensive vineyard management task. Grapevine buds contain compressed shoots that will grow and produce a crop in the forthcoming season. Retaining fruitful buds is the primary method of manipulating shoot density and cluster number for the following season.

Climate and weather

Climate, Weather and Vineyard Management (eVineyard)

Climate and weather play an important role in viticulture. While the weather can change in a short period of time, climate represents the average of the weather over a period of time. While vineyard management practice depends on the climate in which the grapes are grown in, the weather is dictating winegrower’s daily work.

Prevention and Management of Frost Injury in Wine Grapes (NC State Extension)

Late-spring frost events can cause severe injury to grapevines, often leading to the loss of fruitful buds and subsequent decreased yield and fruit quality. Severe frost injury has the potential to destroy a whole vintage. In areas such as the Southeast, where spring frosts are common, both passive and active frost control techniques are essential to maintain the longevity and economic sustainability of a vineyard.

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