An investigation into the effect of alternative pruning methods on the yield and quality of wine grapes

Project Number
WW 12-12 DVS

Project title
An investigation into the effect of alternative pruning methods on the yield and quality of wine grapes

Project leader
Archer, E

Team members
Steenkamp, J
Van Schalkwyk, D

Project description
Three different trials, at three different localities, each with different growing conditions, were conducted with nine different wine wine varieties. Four different pruning methods, hand, mechanical, minimal and no pruning were tested. Growth responses, grape composition and morphology, wine quality as well as labour inputs were evaluated. Huge labour savings were obtained with the alternative pruning methods compared to hand pruning. A reduction in vigour and increase in yield were evident in each variety. Wine quality was not decreased and in some cases even a quality increase was evident. Varieties differ in their adaptability to alternative pruning methods with Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage and Chardonnay performing well and Sauvignon blanc and Merlot poorly. Chenin blanc, Shiraz, Colombar and Ruby Cabernet showed acceptable performance. Alternative pruning methods proved to be viable, especially for the production of medium and low priced wines.

Presentation(s)
Van Schalkwyk, D and Archer, E. 2000. A preliminary report on the effect of pruning methods on the labour costs, grape and wine quality of Cabernet Sauvignon. Paper presented at the 2nd International Congress of the South African Society for Enology and Viticulture. 8-10 November, Cape Town, South Africa

Archer, E, Hunter, J J and Van Schalkwyk, D. 2001. Grapevine compensating reactions as induced by alternative pruning methods. Paper presented at the 7th Latin American Congress of Viticulture and Enology. Montevideo, Uruguay.

FinalReport.pdf

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