Notes and Videos for Vineyard Tasks


These notes and videos below are a resource for FHV volunteers only. Please do not share outside of our community. 

Vine growth cycle through the year

  • pdf version - here 
  • Useful short description of life cycle in Decanter here
  • Vineyard task annual completion dates - click here
  • FHV trellis system and pruning introduction information here 
  • VSP and other systems explained in an article  here


Training videos on You Tube

Pruning 1 in the field 

Pruning 2 in the field 

Pruning Theory - in the classroom

Tying down  

Bud rubbing 1.

Bud Rubbing 2

Task Notes 


Starting after all the leaves had fallen and the canes have lignified. As early as the 1st of December and no later than the 1st week of January. Pruning only on dry cold days if possible. On wet days we can pull the canes down from the wires and out of the vineyard.

Pulling down:

Cut the tendrils first and pull down the canes. The canes will come out more easily if they are pulled down rather than sidewise. We will then pile them up in small piles (brace size) to be taken out of the vineyard to be burnt.

Burn canes (only if there was disease the previous year):

Canes to be burnt before budburst on or about the 1st of April.

Tying down:

This should start only when the sap starts flowing and the canes are a bit more flexible. In the depth of the winter canes are brittle and may break when bent. To be completely finished by the 1st of April when we expect budburst. Small buds are extremely tender and would drop at the slightlest touch.

One bud = two bunches, 6 buds= one bottle of wine.

Budrubbing/ green pruning:

Starting when the shoots are about 8 inches. To finish no later than flowering time at the end of June/beginning of July. A second pass may be necessary. Budrubbing could be divided on two tasks, watershoot removal and shoot selection at the crown.

Wire positioning:

Before tying down, the first foliage wire should be dropped under the fruiting wire. Then, in May, it can be lifted to hold the first growth. The exact date is determined by the amount of growth. The position on the post depends on the length of the shoots the wire needs to hold. Immediately after lifting the first wire, the second wire should be dropped to under the fruiting wires. The second foliage wire to be lifted when the shoots are 10 to 20 inches over the first foliage wire.

Tucking in:

Some of the canes would not be long enough to be hold by the wire when the wire was lifted. A couple of weeks later tuck in should follow. Same after lifting the second wire. We are working with the Vertical Positioning System - 

Topping canes:

Canes should be topped when they reach 10inches over the post tops. It is better to do several passes cutting the tip of the vines as they reach that height, than waiting for all the canes to reach that height. The shoot responds to tip cutting by growing laterals. If the canes are too long at the time of cutting, they send laterals around the fruit area.  

Leaf stripping: This task has several functions: 1, open the canopy to allow the wind through to dry the bunches, 2, expose the grapes to the sun to raise their temperature and help with ripening, 3, allow the spray to reach the berries, 4, increase picking speed as the bunches are more visible. It should be finished just before bunch closure for it to fulfil all intended functions.

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