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trimming cabernet vines around clusters

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Kraffty

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I feel kind of silly asking this but whenever I see pictures of cabernet grapes the grapes are always exposed and hanging beneath the leaf coverage. I have lots of bunches but they're all buried in the foliage. I'm not even sure how many are in there and I need to take some out i'm sure. Should I trim them back like the picture attached or leave them be for now. Picture from on-line and one of mine right now.
Any help from the more experienced growers greatly appreciated,
Thanks, Mike

cabernet-grapes.jpg

myGrapes.jpg
 

marquettematt

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Hi Mike,
I'm not terribly experienced with vinifera. I'm just planting Cab Franc and Reisling this year. I do have a little knowledge. Allow me to give a brief explanation of the top pic. It looks like that because of leaf thinning and vertical shoot positioning. Most growers do this as a cultural practice for disease control. Keeping the fruit exposed like that will get them sunlight and better wind flow and it makes it more difficult for disease to set in and that is something vinifera needs very much. An added bonus is better ripening because the fruit will catch more direct sunlight which translates to heat. More so because the grapes are dark rather than light.
 

dwhill40

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I grow vinifera in the deep south, where I have thick leaves around the clusters black rot and anthracnose will definitely get a foothold. I have thinned shoots, untangled/positioned shoots and pulled leaves twice already this year. For sun protection, I pull maybe 20% as many leaves on the western side of the vines which are oriented in northeast to southwest rows for better sunlight distribution. The eastern side I do expose the grapes but not as much as your first photo. Keeping the air flowing is the trick if you have fungus pressure from humidity.
 

grapeman

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Krafty are you training them to a VSP system like shown in the first picture? If so the clusters generally will form at the bottom of the shoot so are easy to expose with leaf pulling. If they aren't trained nicely with evenly spaced shoots it is much harder to expose them.
 

Johny99

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Be careful with leaf pulling! I do it, but depending on where you are, you can get sunburn, the grapes not just you! Around here we pull on the east or morning side and avoid the west or afternoon side to leave them protected from the afternoon sun.
 

Johny99

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Spent time on my knees today, pulling leaves to give filtered light, air flow to the growing green clusters.
May it pay off in rich flavors without those parazines!
 

Kraffty

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I do have them trained on VSP trellis but I've got three wires with cordons on both of the lower wires. I've only got 4 Cab vines like this one. I may have been a little over zealous on my leaf pulling. I have another 3 Syrah vines that I pulled less leaves from, they aren't as well trained yet but getting there. Thanks again for the help and suggestions, another 4 or 5 years and I may have an idea of what I'm doing.
Mike

LeafTrim.jpg
 

GreginND

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That looks great! If you have at least 10-12 leaves left on the cane that the grape bunches are attached to, that should be enough to feed them.
 

FreddyC

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Krafty, it looks like you gave them the full "Brazilian Wax" treatment. :: In my vineyard, I typically try to remove 80% of the leaves on the eastern side of the wires, but leave 50% or so on the western. For the white grapes, I don't leaf pull at all or they WILL burn.
 

dwhill40

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Lord have mercy, it can stop raining already. This is the first year out of five that we've seen ample rain in late spring. I'm usually irrigating minimally by now. The photo is the southeast side of my Cab vines after shoot thinning and pulling leaves twice. Seems I might need to have another go at it. I live four hours away and my dear old mother sends photos of the progress(she enjoys the participation:). The fungii seems to be under control. I hit the vines with Sovran two weeks ago. Glad I only applied a small amount of black kow.

IMG_20170605_1929419_rewind.jpg
 

Johny99

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Wow! Look what water will do! I'm still not blooming! Well must be some heat with the water
 

dwhill40

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@Johny99 - My location is the same Latitude is Santa Barbara, CA or Fez, Morroco so I have plenty of sunshine even though this year is cooler. An interesting website latlong.net to see were you really are on the planet.
 

dwhill40

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Thanks, I'm on the fifth year of my little experiment. The farm is at an elevation of 1200 ft on a sandy "mountain" near Huntsville, AL which puts the winter temps down to single digits every few years. I've never seen a sharpshooter that wasn't wearing an orange vest. I do apply a dose of imidacloprid through drip irrigation after budbreak every spring. I actually used prunings to start own-rooted Cab and Petit Manseng and have zero nodes on the roots. (When you look at an own-rooted vine growing next to a grafted vine you realize why they graft to better rootstock. There is no comparison) In the past four years I've lost two vines, one to the red death virus from double A and one to what I think is oak root rot from applying decomposed oak -lesson learned. I do have crown-gall on some of the Cabs but I cut it off and apply neosporin and wrap with a cotton cloth and seems to put it into remission. It's going so well that this spring I planted a row of Tannat, Merlot, Sangiovese, and Petit Syrah - enough vines to make 5-10 gallons. I even bought a couple of Pinot Noir vines on a whim. And, I do not use any chemical fertilizer only soft rock phosphate, rock dust, gypsum, and very light compost.
 

Kraffty

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June 20th and we're changing colors already. How long do grapes generally hang once they start verasion. It seems like September is a long way off for these guys to last.
Mike

Cab1.jpg

cab2.jpg
 

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