The main task in the vineyard during winter is pruning which has to be done by hand. We now have 21,000 vines to prune but fortunately Alex loves the job. Since December she has been sniping away with the help of her partner Cliff and some casual workers. I'm feeling very guilty as I've been in Australia for the last 6 weeks on a combined holiday and work trip.
Pruning this year is taking a bit longer as we have some trunk disease in the vineyard. To help prevent this from spreading we have decided to sterilise the secateurs between vines and also spray all the pruning wounds with Trichoderma which helps to heal the wounds quickly.
The pruning is now complete and we have started to tie down the canes to the fruiting wire. Those most susceptible to frost will be left until the end in the hope that by leaving them higher will make them less vulnerable. We have also left the canes a little longer as initial bud burst tends to occur at the end of the cane. We will prune the canes again to around 6 buds once the danger of a spring frost has gone at the end of April.