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Probably a stupid question : VSP vs TWC

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Brigitte

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So I am researching these two trellises. I know VSP is better for upright growth. TWC for trailing growth.
But my question ... I can’t find any info on WHY you couldn’t use VSP rather than TWC on trailing varieties. Would there just be too much canopy to deal with? A decrease in harvest amounts ?
What are the big cons of VSP with a grape such as Edelweiss ?

I like working with VSP better and was just tossing around some ideas in my head.

Thanks for the input!
 

Masbustelo

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My thoughts are using vsp with a downward trailing variety is that for years you will be fighting gravity and doing a lot of tying shoots yearly into an unnatural growing position. Part of the reason that there are so many different trellis types is that one may choose the best suiting trellis for the grape variety. The more vines you have, the less academic your situation becomes.
 

BigH

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Brigitte, What varieties are you thinking about? Are you planning a small backyard vineyard, say 1/4 acre or less? Some practices are avoided in large scale operations simply because of labor and material costs, especially if those costs don't lead to worthwhile improvements in yield or grape quality. Those costs may not be relevant if you are planning something on a small scale where you handle all the labor.

There are lots of university studies out there where they grow a grape variety on several different training systems and report on yield, sugar content, acid levels and juice quality between them. Try finding such reports for the varieties you want to grow.

I had La Crescent (procumbent growth) and La Crosse (upright growth) on a VSP. I have since switched both of them to top wire cordon. The biggest reason I switched was because deer devastate the young shoots on all my VSP plants during spring. The La Crescent was also a bit too vigorous on the VSP and became a tangled mess during the summer. The La Crosse grows very upright for a few feet, but then it can be trained downward.

H
 

GreginND

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There are many considerations when thinking about trellis system including the growth preferences of the variety. Aside from growth habits . . .

Pros for VSP:

Ease of using side netting.
Mechanical hedging, harvesting is easier.
Fruit zone is lower for harvesting.
Cleaner and tidier if aesthetics matter.

Cons for VSP:

Need more wires on your trellis
More work for shoot positioning throughout the season
More work to do leaf pulling for sun exposure.

Pros for High Wire:

If in an area where frost is a problem, frost zones are colder near the ground, so the higher the fruiting canes, the better chance of avoiding frost damage.
Vigor is reduced for highly vigorous varieties (cold hardy hybrids) with the shoots bending toward the ground.
Potential for more sun exposure with the fruit up high.
Only need one guide/irrigation wire and one fruiting wire.
Less work for shoot positioning - no need to tuck between guides, just occasional combing downwards.
Most studies for cold climate hybrids show better grape chemistry with high wire (acid/sugar).

Cons for High Wire:

Fruit is higher up so harvesting for shorter folks is more difficult.
Need to use over vine netting - can't use side netting. (a con?)
Aesthetics for that super tidy vineyard.
 

Brigitte

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Thanks for all the input. To answer a few of your questions we have about 2300 vines. Chambourcin is our main red and we have more of them than any. They are TWC now. We are getting ready to trellis some we planted last year. Up to now they have been in grow tubes then secured to bamboo. We are a little behind but had some bad luck that snowballed. None of them are hurting but we need trellises up in a week or two. Anyway.. of these we have vignoles which will be a VSP for sure. And I had a wild hair that maybe we could VSP the Brianna and Catawba. As Greg mentioned the aesthetics is a pro and I like the tidy look of the VSP.
My husband said my idea wasn’t very good.. lol. I guess after reading your input here and doing more research I am convinced that Catawba should be on a TWC.
Thanks for taking time to chime in! I appreciate all the help !
 

BigH

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I don't know jack about catawba or vignoles. Dr Domoto at Iowa State describes Brianna as vigorous and semi-procumbent. I grown mine on a GDC with 8 ft vine spacing in sandy loam soil with 3-4 % organic matter. It hasn't quite filled all space in the trellis going into year 5. In my location, I think TWC with 9 or 10 ft spacing would work well.

Note that the Northern Grapes project says this about Brianna in some PDF that google found: "Vines fight upward growth. Do not use a VSP trellis system". I have never tried.

H
 

VillaVino

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I have about 300 Briana on VSP. The vigour would be too much for a TWC system I think. I have only one variety, Louise Swenson, on TWC. It is a pain to keep thinned and hard to spray for weeds. I’ve tried to prune them so they will follow the VSP but they just won’t go. Good luck.
 

Brigitte

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I don't know jack about catawba or vignoles. Dr Domoto at Iowa State describes Brianna as vigorous and semi-procumbent. I grown mine on a GDC with 8 ft vine spacing in sandy loam soil with 3-4 % organic matter. It hasn't quite filled all space in the trellis going into year 5. In my location, I think TWC with 9 or 10 ft spacing would work well.

Note that the Northern Grapes project says this about Brianna in some PDF that google found: "Vines fight upward growth. Do not use a VSP trellis system". I have never tried.

H
Thanks for the me info ! We will be doing a TWC for Brianna

Have you got to harvest some of your Brianna for wine making yet?
 

Brigitte

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I have about 300 Briana on VSP. The vigour would be too much for a TWC system I think. I have only one variety, Louise Swenson, on TWC. It is a pain to keep thinned and hard to spray for weeds. I’ve tried to prune them so they will follow the VSP but they just won’t go. Good luck.
Interesting
How long have you had them on VSP? Where are you located ?

Most of what I have read talks about vigorous vines needing a TWC rather than VSP.
Do you have any pics you could share?
Thanks for chiming in!
 

VillaVino

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Interesting
How long have you had them on VSP? Where are you located ?

Most of what I have read talks about vigorous vines needing a TWC rather than VSP.
Do you have any pics you could share?
Thanks for chiming in!
 

VillaVino

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I’ve had them for 5 years now. Last year was the first year I got a commercial harvest. We’re located in West central Wisconsin.
I don’t have any pictures of the Brianas vines from last year. Sorry. Even though they are vigorous, they are very trainable. Best tasting grape in the vineyard.
 

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Brigitte

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I love Brianna grapes. Those grapes you are holding are beautiful. I really appreciate your time in answering me.
 

BigH

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Have you got to harvest some of your Brianna for wine making yet?
Yes. We have had 2 harvest seasons. In 2016, our 9 brianna vines yielded 79 lbs of grapes at 20 brix and a pH of 3.24. That was year 3 for them. They yielded 140 lbs last year, although I consider that an overcropped season. I pulled them when the sugar was just shy of 17 brix. The conventional wisdom is to harvest when the sugar is in the 15-18 brix range to avoid foxy off flavors. To be honest, I detected no such flavors in the wine that came from the 2016 grapes.

The 2017 wine isn't ready yet, and the 2016 is sadly all gone. We really liked it. Very fruity flavor. I back sweetened half of the 2016 Brianna to a specific gravity of 1.003 and the rest to 1.005. We liked the sweeter version better. Our Brianna was the wine we selected for our Thanksgiving dinner.

H
 

Brigitte

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Yes. We have had 2 harvest seasons. In 2016, our 9 brianna vines yielded 79 lbs of grapes at 20 brix and a pH of 3.24. That was year 3 for them. They yielded 140 lbs last year, although I consider that an overcropped season. I pulled them when the sugar was just shy of 17 brix. The conventional wisdom is to harvest when the sugar is in the 15-18 brix range to avoid foxy off flavors. To be honest, I detected no such flavors in the wine that came from the 2016 grapes.

The 2017 wine isn't ready yet, and the 2016 is sadly all gone. We really liked it. Very fruity flavor. I back sweetened half of the 2016 Brianna to a specific gravity of 1.003 and the rest to 1.005. We liked the sweeter version better. Our Brianna was the wine we selected for our Thanksgiving dinner.

H
As far as I know there’s only one winery here hat has Brianna wine. It is a very unique flavor profile to me. Carmel and fruity .. pineapple.. they serve it as a semi sweet.
What’s the flavor profile of yours ?
 

BigH

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What’s the flavor profile of yours ?
Pineapple and grapefruit fruity. I used QA23 yeast on the 2017 wine, which is supposed to really enhance the fruity flavors. I think I used pasteur champagne in 2016 (poor record keeping in the beginning)

H
 

Brigitte

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I have some QA23. Used it on a Vidal blanc. Very nice yeast.
 

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