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Old Vineyard - could it recuperate

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Hello,
Am a total newbie in viticulture.
Could you advise:
- of your general impressions about the status of the vines and fruit. Supposedly they are 60+ years old. Seems like they were planted 1.5 meters away from each other, yet most of the vines are missing and need to be replanted. Could I replant from the current clone/vines - would like to keep the vineyard monolithic. What would be the techniques you would advise - I will read up on it.
- I am told it is CS (yet found a single white grape vine - could it be a mutation?), any comments on the cepage?
- the vineyard is barely worked, supposedly plowed a few times a year (doesnt seem like it, yet not like some totally abandoned in the area).
- judging from the pictures, can the vines be rejuvenated into a healthy vineyard?
- any other relevant comments are most welcome.
Appreciate your guidance.
IMG_20180829_093354.jpg IMG_20180829_092922.jpg IMG_20180829_092939.jpg IMG_20180829_093003.jpg IMG_20180829_093020.jpg IMG_20180829_093026.jpg IMG_20180829_093354.jpg IMG_20180829_094934.jpg IMG_20180829_095044.jpg IMG_20180829_095215.jpg
 

salcoco

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ground does not need to be worked.
1. wait until vines are dormant this fall and then spray weed beneath the wine with a herbicide do again in spring
2. research pruning techniques so that you can prune the vines back to one cordon each side of the plant on the top wire. each cordon should reach half way to next wine. the next wine would then be half way to this wine and thus the entire space occupied.
3. for those area where a plant is missing hopefully a live plant is adjacent . if so you can air layer one of the vines . take one of the longer wines and see if it can reach the point the missing vine would be. bury a portion of the vine and leave some above ground. if not possible just air layer next to existing vine and wait one year it will root. the following dormant spring cut the vine way from mother plant and replant the new air layer plant at its permanent location. In this manner the new layer plant is basically at fruit bearing age once at full growth. fastest way to populate vineyard.
 

Johny99

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I’m with @salcoco, except I don’t use herbicide, just mow and string trim. They do look like cab, well except for the white one, Kind looks like Chardonnay but I can’t really see the leaf. Of course, not knowing where you are, there could be lots of possibilities. Unlikely it is a mutation more likely they had some whites inter planted and cofermented. Those big trunks certainly indicate old vines.
While we are a helpful bunch, or try to be, I’d try to find a grower nearby that would advise you. It often works to trade labor for training. I learned to prune and lots of other vineyard stuff by volunteering at local vineyards in exchange for being taught how, and appropriately yelled at to modify my technique.
 

CK55

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I’m with @salcoco, except I don’t use herbicide, just mow and string trim. They do look like cab, well except for the white one, Kind looks like Chardonnay but I can’t really see the leaf. Of course, not knowing where you are, there could be lots of possibilities. Unlikely it is a mutation more likely they had some whites inter planted and cofermented. Those big trunks certainly indicate old vines.
While we are a helpful bunch, or try to be, I’d try to find a grower nearby that would advise you. It often works to trade labor for training. I learned to prune and lots of other vineyard stuff by volunteering at local vineyards in exchange for being taught how, and appropriately yelled at to modify my technique.
I would say Cabernet Franc, if your going cab, as they do not look like Cab Sav.

Or possibly Carignane or something like that.
 

balatonwine

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Yes, you can bring the vineyard back. But it will start by doing a lot of appropriate pruning. I have done it, but not on so quite a problem vineyard.


If you want to restore the pruning system, start by looking at the vines, and what was the historical pruning system. This may be easer to do in the fall when the leaves are gone. Maybe more photos when that happens for additional ideas how to proceed.

But for now, I would say, since the vineyard looks uncared for, what may seem like "cordons" I am wondering if they are simply untrimmed canes. I would say the vine heads are too large relative to the arms for it to be at least recent a cordon design (but if you see old, large cuts at the vine head, it may have been a cordon vineyard recently converted to cane pruning). The height on some vines also makes me wonder if they were tall cordons or head trimmed or vertical cordons, or just ignored too long.

There seems to be a two wire trellis system in most of the photos, but also looks like some lower wire as well. Two wire vertical training is very old school, but this is an old vineyard. Just curious, how many wires are there? 2 or 3?

As an alternative, if trying to restore the vineyard, you can also just cut off the vine heads just below whatever lower wire height you wish, and let the vine sprout from that and create whatever new system you want. But, such large cuts do increase the chance of infection, such as Eutypa. So do consider that.

The grass in the aisles can be mowed now. In fact, I would advise it to make fall and winter work easier.

Side note: May I ask where is this vineyard located? The concrete posts and vine condition sure looks like a lot of smaller, "forgotten" vineyards where I am in Hungary.
 
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balatonwine

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ground does not need to be worked.
1. wait until vines are dormant this fall and then spray weed beneath the wine with a herbicide do again in spring
Use of herbicides is a personal preference. And cheaper than tilling/cultivating. But vines like to have the ground worked in their rows. Either tilling or blade cutting. That is why commercial vineyards often invest in a lot of special tools to do so.

The aisles can be mowed rather than tilled/cultivated.

2. research pruning techniques so that you can prune the vines back to one cordon each side of the plant on the top wire. each cordon should reach half way to next wine. the next wine would then be half way to this wine and thus the entire space occupied.
This is Vinifera. Training to a top wire cordon is not an ideal method of training for Vinifera.

3. for those area where a plant is missing hopefully a live plant is adjacent . if so you can air layer one of the vines . take one of the longer wines and see if it can reach the point the missing vine would be. bury a portion of the vine and leave some above ground. if not possible just air layer next to existing vine and wait one year it will root. the following dormant spring cut the vine way from mother plant and replant the new air layer plant at its permanent location. In this manner the new layer plant is basically at fruit bearing age once at full growth. fastest way to populate vineyard.
This is a potentially very bad idea. Self rooted Vinifera is susceptible to Phylloxera. Unless this vineyard is in a Phylloxera free zone, it is much, much better to plant new vines with grafted Phylloxera resistent rootstock.
 
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CK55

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Use of herbicides is a personal preference. And cheaper than tilling/cultivating. But vines like to have the ground worked in their rows. Either tilling or blade cutting. That is why commercial vineyards often invest in a lot of special tools to do so.

The aisles can be mowed rather than tilled/cultivated.



This is Vinifera. Training to a top wire cordon is not an ideal method of training for Vinifera.



This is a bad idea. Self rooted Vinifera is susceptible to Phylloxera. Much, much better to plant new vines with grafted Phylloxera resistent rootstock.
You are absolutely correct about Vinifera unless its planted in Sand, phylloxera cannot infest sand and typically dies if it tries to. So if it was in sand it would have been fine.

For example I have self rooted vinifera in California in sand that's 40 years old. And that's really the reason that it has been unaffected by phylloxera that and we have never had a outbreak where im at. I don't even think its actually where im at.

Vinifera would do best on a VSP Vertical Shoot Trellis.
 

CK55

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You are a lucky man. :)

And I am just a little bit jealous. I would love to self root, but I can't. And grafted vines have problems of their own that I will not get into here.
Yeah, im quite happy, I actually took more cuttings off it and planted them, I intend to donate a cutting or 2 to UC Davis since they don't have any in their collection.

Yeah Grafted vines can have issues as well. I have 9 Different rootstocks in my new Vinifera vineyard.
 

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