What’s Happening in the Vineyards? Suckering

by Werner Els

Quality over quantity is essential for successful wine making. That is why suckering plays such an important role in vineyard management.
If the vines bear too much fruit the general quality is lower, but if you manage the growth of the vines, you are sure to have a sustainable harvest of grapes without decreasing the quality.

By removing unwanted shoots and leaves, the energy of the vine is focused to the shoots that were left on the spur after pruning. It is these shoots that we would like as our fruit bearers. Suckering (or shoot thinning) also opens the vines which aids with more sunlight penetrating to the vine and increases the air flow which will help prevent disease from spreading in the vineyards.

Suckering is a challenging job and requires the vineyard team to spend a lot of time on every single vine. In the end, it is this hard work and determination that will pay off and the result are healthy good quality grapes, the foundation for premium quality wines.


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