It’s pruning time again! Once the first frosts have hit and the vines become dormant, they are pruned to maintain the shape of the plant, provide an open and balanced canopy, and to manipulate yield.
The climate in Central Otago is the closest we have in New Zealand to the northern hemisphere's continental climate. Winter temperatures can drop to minus 6 deg C. Our Pinot Noir vines at Claim 431 Vineyard in Bendigo, are all hand pruned, which can make for long and cold days.
In Marlborough and the Waipara Valley all the cutting is done by hand, with the stripping a split between machine and by hand.
Vines are either cane or spur pruned, although both methods are all about ensuring and maintaining vine health, controlling how much fruit is required for the following harvest, and keeping the vine balanced.
Pruning season kicked off last month, and will finish around September.
Photo below is from our Claim 431 Vineyard at Bendigo in Central Otago - even the spider web is frozen!