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FNE09-662 2009 Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Better Wine Grape Quality using Combined Vine Training and Canopy Management Richard Lamoy Richard Lamoy.

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Presentation on theme: "FNE09-662 2009 Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Better Wine Grape Quality using Combined Vine Training and Canopy Management Richard Lamoy Richard Lamoy."— Presentation transcript:

1 FNE Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Better Wine Grape Quality using Combined Vine Training and Canopy Management Richard Lamoy Richard Lamoy

2 The Problem  Up until recent years there were few wine grape varieties available to withstand our cold Northeast climate that were capable of making good wine. With the development of cold hardy hybrid wine grape varieties that has changed. The Northeast has been seeing increasing interest in growing these hybrid wine grapes, but the quality of the grapes grown has typically been low. The wine made from the low quality grapes along with low yields has discouraged growers from expanding and stalled development of a viable wine industry.

3 What can be done?  Improved quality and yield of select cold hardy hybrid grapes could help spur further development of the wine grape industry in the Northeast. It is a common belief that using present grape varieties that yields and quality are too low for making a good wine economically. Through selecting a properly matched training method and canopy management system the quality may be improved and help dispel the notion that you can’t make good wine from the grapes grown in the region. I will be measuring differences between systems for quality, quantity and labor involved so that a profitable crop of wine grapes may be harvested and turned into more valuable product in the form of quality wine.

4 Implementation of Project  The purpose of my project is to study the feasibility of increasing yield and quality of cold hardy hybrid wine grapes through a system of training methods and canopy management for the varieties grown. This will utilize hybrid wine grape varieties well suited to the Northeast. The project will use the existing vineyard on the farm for the study. Two training methods will be used for each variety and the existing trellising adjusted to accommodate those methods for three (3) varieties (Frontenac, Leon Millot and LaCrosse). The first two varieties will be trained to both a Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) and a 4-Arm Kniffen system. LaCrosse will be trained to 4-Arm Kniffen and Top Wire Cordon (TWC).Within those rows each training method will include 3 panels of four vines each to compare three canopy management styles. Those managements will include Shoot Thinning, Cluster Thinning and a Check. This will include 24 vines of each of three varieties for a total of 72 vines in the study.

5 Summary of the Systems-  4-Arm Kniffen Training with cluster thinning and leaf pulling  4-Arm Kniffen Training with shoot thinning and leaf pulling  4-Arm Kniffen Training with leaf pulling only (Check)  VSP with cluster thinning and leaf pulling  VSP with shoot thinning and leaf pulling  VSP with leaf pulling only (Check)  TWC with cluster thinning and leaf pulling (LaCrosse Only)  TWC with shoot thinning and leaf pulling (LaCrosse Only)  TWC with leaf pulling only (Check) (LaCrosse Only)

6 Summary of Training Systems Used  4-Arm Kniffen  This is one of the most popular training systems for grapes. It gives good production, requires little summer pruning, and is adapted to moderately vigorous cultivars. The trellis consists of two wires. After the shoot reaches the top of the trellis, cut the tip off and tie the cane to the top wire.

7 4-Arm Kniffen

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9 VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioning)  In the VSP System, bilateral cordons are established along a fruiting wire set at about inches from the ground. Either single trunk or double trunk systems may be used. When the trunk is of sufficient size, usually the second year, it is cut slightly below the fruiting wire early in the season forcing laterals to grow below the wire arching up slightly. One is trained each direction to begin formation of the semi-permanent cordons.  The laterals which form off the cordon are allowed to grow the first year of cordon growth. They are trained upwards through a couple sets of double catch wires.

10 VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioning)

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12 TWC (Top Wire Cordon)  In the TWC System, bilateral cordons are established along a fruiting wire set at about inches from the ground. Either single trunk or double trunk systems may be used. When the trunk is of sufficient size, usually the second year, it is cut slightly below the fruiting wire early in the season forcing laterals to grow below the wire arching up slightly. One is trained each direction to begin formation of the semi-permanent cordons.  The laterals which form off the cordon are allowed to grow the first year of cordon growth. They are allowed to droop downwards and may be assisted if need be by bending slightly when a couple feet long.

13 TWC (Top Wire Cordon)

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16 Canopy Management Summary  There are two canopy management techniques being implemented in this study project along with a check system. They are Shoot Thinning, Cluster Thinning and the Check. In order to see what may provide the best wine grape harvest numbers I am shooting for a harvest weight of between three and 5 tons per acre equivalent. In order to attain those numbers either Shoot Thinning or Cluster Thinning will be used. Both of those will also receive leaf pulling to open up the canopy to air movement and also trimming off excessively long shoots – either skirting or hedging. The check will not be thinned, but will receive the leaf pulling and canopy trimming as per the other treatments.

17 Shoot Thinning  The Shoot Thinning utilizes a systematic removal of some of the shoots to attain the desired number of clusters per vine. This is determined by using the average number of clusters per shoot with no more than 2 clusters per shoot left on it. This is multiplied by the average weight of that variety’s clusters.  Example: Desired weight per vine = 15 pounds 1.5 clusters per shoot for Variety A and there are 3 clusters per pound. I would need to leave 45 clusters on that vine, so I would need to leave a total of about 30 shoots on that vine. If the vines are7 feet apart, then for a single cordon system like VSP or TWC, I would leave a bit over 4 shoots per foot. 1.5 clusters per shoot for Variety A and there are 3 clusters per pound. I would need to leave 45 clusters on that vine, so I would need to leave a total of about 30 shoots on that vine. If the vines are7 feet apart, then for a single cordon system like VSP or TWC, I would leave a bit over 4 shoots per foot.  By using Shoot Thinning, it is hoped to improve air movement by opening up the canopy some. It also gets to the desired number of clusters to attain the desired harvest weight for improving quality.

18 Cluster Thinning  Cluster thinning involves the removal of excessive clusters over the amount needed to attain the desired harvest goal. Using the above example the calculation is as before, except you don’t remove shoots to get to the target number, you remove individual clusters. In that example, 45 clusters is needed for the yield weight. Remove enough clusters to get to that goal. This allows for the selective removal of smaller or deformed clusters and may lead to improved quality. That advantage may be offset by not removing any of the shoots, so the canopy may be thicker and less open to air movement.

19 Check Treatment  The check gets no thinning of clusters or shoot removal. The canopy is kept as open as the other two treatments by removing some leaves and hedging and skirting the vines. This allows for a comparison of harvest parameters to see how the thinning treatments affect quality

20 Early Season Growth-Frontenac  Frontenac VSP Left Side  Frontenac-4-AK Right side

21 Early Season Growth-Leon Millot  Leon Millot VSP Leon Millot 4-Arm Kniffen Leon Millot 4-Arm Kniffen

22 Early Season Growth- LaCrosse  LaCrosse TWC LaCrosse 4-Arm Kniffen LaCrosse 4-Arm Kniffen

23 Growth at Bloom-Frontenac  Frontenac VSP Frontenac-4-AK Frontenac-4-AK

24 Growth at Bloom -Leon Millot  Leon Millot VSP Leon Millot 4-Arm Kniffen Leon Millot 4-Arm Kniffen

25 Growth at Bloom - LaCrosse  LaCrosse TWC LaCrosse 4-Arm Kniffen LaCrosse 4-Arm Kniffen

26 Mid-Summer - Frontenac  Frontenac VSP Frontenac-4-AK Frontenac-4-AK

27 Mid-Summer - Leon Millot  Leon Millot VSP Leon Millot 4-Arm Kniffen Leon Millot 4-Arm Kniffen

28 Mid-Summer - LaCrosse  LaCrosse TWC LaCrosse 4-Arm Kniffen LaCrosse 4-Arm Kniffen

29 Developing Trends  Shoot thinned canopies are “looking” more open than cluster thinned and check. This is in all training systems.  4-Arm Kniffen is requiring much less maintenance time- both in pruning and tucking and combing.

30 Pruning Comparisons Frontenac  VSP Canopy Trimmings 4-Arm Kniffen Trimmings 4-Arm Kniffen Trimmings

31 Conclusions  It is too early in the trial to draw conclusions. The comparisons are being documented along the way.  Soon the grapes will be tested and compared for ripeness with the differing systems.  At harvest the final test results will be compared as will the yields.

32 The End


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