That time of year again. Started pruning in the Vineyard as all the leaves have dropped. The table grape vines around the house are still covered in leaves probably because of the heat generated around the house. Only a few of the orchard trees have dropped which means we can prune a few things at a time spinning out the workload.
After pruning the vineyard we will try grafting (again). There are some Isabella vines which are unsuitable for wine making and every year an attempt has been made to graft Chambourcin to Isabella rootstock. Having tried two grafting methods both have had a success rate of about 1%. So there is a technique here that we have definitely not mastered.
During vintage we noticed at a commercial vineyard that whole sections had been grafted successfully. Some inquiries added some additional knowledge which will be incorporated into our technique. The main piece of knowledge was when bud grafting leave some original buds which will burst and provide life to the vine until the new graft has taken. The original buds need to be trimmed so they don't get out of hand. We'll see how we go. We haven’t try top grafting before so maybe that is another experiment. The few successful grafts are very vigorous.
Our vineyard has a rock platform about 600 mm bellow the ground and the roots grow sideways not down. They say to make good wine you need to stress grape vines, well these get really stressed especially if there is a dry spell. Fortunately we have access to plenty of dam water.