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FALL   •   WINTER   •   SPRING   •   SUMMER          New Vineyard Timeline
Grape - Fall Content

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT   •   CULTURAL PRACTICES   •   IPM   •   VINE NUTRITION AND SOILS


1-year Pre-plant · Determine Training System

The main objective in grape production:

Maximize sunlight interception.

Annual Cluster and Floral Development Chart

Figure 1. Concord Bud Development. Cluster initiation (arrows) in green shoots begins just after bloom, and by just before veraison, the buds reach stage 6 of 15. After the winter dormancy and bud break the following season, buds pick back up and finish developing via shoot emergence and growth by bloom, at which point the cycle begins anew.
*Dates on x-axis are approximate for each season. Adapted from Goffinet, Wine East 2001.

Regardless of the variety to be planted, a grower will need to be sure to install a trellis (the physical structure to which the vines are attached) within the first year of planting.  This will enable easier handling of the vines, as well as improve weed and pest management techniques and efficacy in the first two years of growth.  Deciding as early as possible will enable growers to calculate the amount of materials needed.  Figure 2 depicts a few training systems, with the most commonly used in NY being top wire cordon (juice grapes, hybrids, vines with procumbent growth habits) and mid-wire cordon, or VSP (Vitis vinifera varieties, some hybrids with upright growth habits).

Training Systems for Grape Vineyards

Figure 2. Training systems for grape vineyards. Image taken from Training Systems for New York Vineyards page from Dr. Bob Pool's Grape Pages.

Variety selection can also dictate training system options.  For example, many of the varieties native to the US and their hybrids have procombent growth habits, meaning, then tend to grow toward the vineyard floor.  In these cases, a top wire cordon system can maximize sunlight interception, thus increasing fruitfulness in these varieties.  Conversely, Vitis vinifera varieties tend to have upright growth habits, lending themselves to a vertical shoot positioning (VSP) system. (Figure 3)  Either of these training systems can be expanded to manage excessive vigor, though dividing the canopies horizontally, as seen in Figure 4.

Train to a Variety

Figure 3.  Choose the appropriate training system for each variety planted.  'Cabernet Franc' is better suited to vertical shoot positioning (VSP) systems, while the hybrid 'Diamond' is best suited to top wire cordon training.

Horizontally Divide Canopies

Figure 4.  For overly vigorous sites, separating the canopy horizontally will improve sunlight interception.  A) Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) divides a top wire cordon system.  B)  A Lyre trellis divides a VSP system.

Why it is important to have a training system in place very soon after planting:

Training System Importance

Figure 5.  By allowing vines to crawl along the vineyard floor for an entire season, not only can weed control be more difficult, but training also gets very messy.

Vine training and trellis systems are explored in-depth in Wine Grape Production Guide for Eastern North America and Wine Grape Varieties in California.  Ideally, the goal is to establish and maintain a fairly uniform vineyard to allow for easier mechanical access and management.

Proper Training - Easier Management

Figure 6.  Proper training makes for easier pruning and canopy management.

Resources

Christensen, L.P., Dokoozlian, N., Walker, M.A., Wolpert, J.A. (eds.). 2003. Wine Grape Varieties in California. University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Publication 3419.

Goffinet, M.C. 2001. Grapevine buds: construction, development, and potential for cropping. Wine East Magazine, Sept.-Oct., pp. 14�23. L&H Photojournalism, Lancaster, PA.

Jordan, T.D., Pool, R.M., Zabadal, T.J., and Tomkins, J.P. 1980. Cultural Practices for Commercial Vineyards. NYSAES, Bulletin 111. (sadly, out of print)

Winkler, A. J., J. A. Cook, W. M. Kliewer, and L. A. Lider. 1974. General Viticulture. University of California Press.

Wolf, T. et.al. 2008. Wine Grape Production Guide for Eastern North America. Cooperative Extension NRAES:145.


Content by:

Dr. Jodi Creasap Gee
Viticulture Extension Educator,
Lake Erie Regional Grape Program


calendar of events

Upcoming Events

2018 LERGP Winter Grape Grower Conference

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 14, 2018
8:00am-4:00pm
Fredonia, NY

We are in the planning stages of this event, but we have secured the facility and date! Put us on your calendar and come spend the day with us!
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Announcements

Tim Weigle receives Excellence in IPM award

Portland, NY. August 11, 2017: As a kid, Tim Weigle often tagged along with his dad, a plant breeder at Iowa State University. It gave him a taste for agriculture and research. But once in college he took an entomology class and everything changed. That class included an introduction to integrated pest management (IPM).
I was fascinated by the interaction of plant systems and pest complexes, Weigle says. So he added IPM to his bachelors program, then topped it off with a masters in horticulture. It gave me the solid foundation in crop production I needed to practice IPM, he says.
Now, for nearly 30 years of innovative, farmer-focused IPM research and outreach in the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program (LERGP), Tim Weigle has earned an Excellence in IPM award from the New York State IPM Program (NYS IPM).
Examples- Weigle helped build a dense concentration of grower-owned weather stations linked together online through NEWA" the Network for Environment and Weather Applications" to predict when to scout for destructive grape berry moths and a hit list of other pests. And hes applied LERGP research to use tractor-mounted sensors, each with a chip providing data for creating color-coded maps. These maps pinpoint where destructive grape rootworms are probably at work underground.
This means you can check just those spots for grape rootworm and spot-treat only them, Weigle says.
Then theres Weigles leadership on the Organic Guide for Grapes and the Pest Management Guidelines for both grape and hops. Hes also been a trailblazer in IPM research and outreach for the hopyards that help fuel New Yorks microbreweries.
But its his way with people that really sets Tim Weigle apart. Sure, the internet has a lot to offer. But nobody wants a faceless Extension. Weigle created weekly coffee pot meetings, held at vineyards all along Lake Eries grape belt. Indeed, theyre what face time is all about. They dont even have an agenda. Instead, theyre driven by whats got farmers curious or worried that week.
Some of those early coffee pot meetings were at our vineyard, back when our son was just a little kid, says Dawn Betts of Betts Farms LLC. I remember one time wed all gone out to the vineyard, and Tim was talking about grape berry moths. Well, our son went down the row and picked some of the stung berries where the moths had laid their eggs. And Tim said if this young man can do it, you can too.
The Betts family goes to a lot of those meetings. We learn from each other, Betts says. If one of us has an issue, chances are the others will soon.
Tim does a fabulous job of incorporating the fundamentals of biology while bringing the latest science to address growers challenges, says Jennifer Grant, director of NYS IPM. Were proud to have him on our NYS IPM team.
Weigle received his award at the Lake Erie Regional Grape Programs Summer Conference on August 11, 2017. Learn more about IPM at nysipm.cornell.edu.






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