Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Peju Prunes

Pruning Party
 Last week was Employee Pruning Day at Peju! No, that is not a euphemism for layoffs, it's a chance for all of our employees to try their hand at pruning the vines and learn a bit about the science behind the process. And we were all blown away with how much we did learn.

Alejandro teaching

And showing us how it's REALLY done
Manuel and Alejandro were our gracious and patient guides. They explained which parts of the vine should go, which should stay, and why. Much of the process consists of getting rid of older shoots, which left untended could begin to take over the vine and drain nutrients and energy from the rest of the plant. Ideally, you leave a smaller shoot that is just hefty and strong enough to support an adequate number of clusters. Next year, that same shoot will be removed to make room for smaller growth beside it.

We also had to be mindful about training the shoots up towards the sky, which meant pruning anything growing sideways or downward. And on top of that, we learned to be liberal and decisive with the shears in order to avoid overcrowding and superfluous growth. After all, it's quality over quantity so we did not need to facilitate as many clusters as possible from one vine. Instead, we learned that the focus of pruning is to maintain a healthy vine with streamlined, consistent, and balanced growth.

With all of that information bouncing around in my head, I grabbed my shears and got to work on the vine, which I completed in just a minute or two. And I was extremely proud of it. I then watched Manuel do the same thing in about 5 seconds and realized my stark incompetence. There is so much to consider so I was amazed at how they these guys are able to break it down into a formula and execute so quickly. Practice makes perfect I guess, but most of us were nowhere near perfection!

A great experience and thank you so much to our winemaking and vineyard team!

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