Shoot Positioning - Marquette on GDC

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May 29, 2013
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East-Central MN
It's been 6 years since I put my first row of vines in the ground, and I've had three years of harvest now... things are coming along!

I've pruned to about 8 shoots per foot (on each wire) in accordance with some of grapeman's advice here.

From there, I've always just let the shoots grow and go wherever they please... some grow up, some out the side, some down to the lower wire, some along the wire. Whatever!

So now I'm reading Tom Plocher's Northern Winework and get to a section about consistency and how this is the key to great wine - getting fruit that's all evenly ripe, gets the same amount of sun, etc. And shoot positioning appears to be a big part of that. Duh...

1. Any suggestions on how I should approach this in future years? How do you do it?
2. My vines are pretty tangled at this point, anything I should try to do this year? Maybe just pull leaves at the base of the cane before veraison?




Senior Member
Apr 27, 2014
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The best time to shoot position is after the shoots are long enough to take a little bit of rough housing, but before the tendrils really take hold. I am still shoot positioning in central Iowa since I couldn't get to it a couple weeks ago when I should have done it. Tremendous fun. Marquette hasn't been so bad, but the Brianna was a jungle.

This may still be worth doing this year. Unroll, cut, or snap the tendrils and then work to point shoots down as best you can. Skipping this creates shading problems, as well as bullish canes that run horizontally along the wire, usually emanating from the head area. Those horizontal bull canes sap energy from weaker shoots you are trying to invigorate.


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