Pruning has become the main tool for the regulation, management and balance of the plant. Through pruning (taking into account other factors such as vine variety, rootstock, planting density and fertility of the viticultural soil) we can regulate grape production, until we find the perfect soil-plant-climate balance.
The adaptation of new varieties, the mechanization of the vineyard, and the new community regulations have modified pruning habits in modern viticulture.
Little by little the traditional glass pruning is being replaced by the trellis directed models, due to the advantages that this entails for the mechanization of the vineyard and due to the lack of specialized labor.
With the trellis we can better technify pruning, reducing execution times and facilitating load regulation.
The objectives of pruning are:
1. Train the plant to the selected growing system ( training pruning ). During the first three years, the main function of the winegrower is to train the plant to the selected pruning system to achieve a full adaptation of the vine plant to the ground, giving priority to the development of underground organs, as well as to the structure.
2. Regulate the vegetative development versus the productive one. From the third year, we can so that the plant reaches a vegetative-productive balance. We are not interested in the excess of vigor that will increase the amount of wood, nor the excess of production, which will delay the ripening of the grape. On the contrary, an excess of production will prevent the development of vegetable mass that guarantees a ripe berry of optimal quality.
3. Manage the productive load, reducing the number of buds. In subsequent years, by reducing the number of buds, we reduce the number of bunches, although we must take into account the variety of vine, the fertility of the soil, … to seek our viticultural balance.
4. Adapt cultivation towards mechanization. One of the main objectives in trellis pruning is to adapt trellis pruning to facilitate the mechanization of the vineyard as well as other tasks such as leaf removal, pre-pruning, treatments …