Four Arm Kniffin System for Growing Grapes
David Handley: I'm David Handley, vegetableand small fruit specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Today we'regoing to be talking about a simple system for pruning hardy grapes here in Maine. The pruning system I like to use is very simple.It keeps the plant open, so it gets light in the summer time, but it also protects theplant a little bit in the winter. This system works best with concord type or labrusca typegrapes, which are the grapes that tend to grow best in Maine. There's really a couple of systems that willwork well for labrusca type grapes. The first
one I want to talk about is the four arm kniffin,and that's what we're going to prune first. The four arm kniffin consists of a perennialtrunk, which goes from the ground right up to a top wire, which is set at about fivefeet. Coming off of this trunk, we will have four arms, or canes, oneyear old growth.Two on the top wire, running each side of the top wire, and two on a lower wire. Thislower wire should be set at about two and a half feet off the ground. Every year, we're going to come in and pruneit so we continue to have a perennial trunk, but only four one yearold trunks to producethe fruit.
Here is our permanent trunk. You can see here,this is a cane from last year. Two yearold cane, this was our fruiting cane last summer,and you can see the difference. Here's this year's cane, that nice chocolate brown colorand smooth bark, and here we go with the older cane, the two yearold cane. The bark is startingto peel, and has more of a gray look to it, so we know that this particular shoot isn'tgoing to fruit again. It's the one yearold shoots that come off it that will fruit. This is going to get pruned out, so that wecan keep our fruiting wood closer to the trunk. We'll just take that back to a good fruitingshoot, and we'll start to cut it out. This
is where it gets fun. We need to wrestle thisout of the trellis, and of course, all these little tendrils have tied it up and aroundmost of the growth that's there. It takes a little bit of cutting, but be careful notto break the fruiting canes that you want to leave behind. Pull it off, and that will open the plantingup so we can see what we have left for good fruiting wood for this year. We've taken offthe four fruiting canes that we left last year, and you can see pretty much all that'sleft, at this point, is the green shoots from last year, that will provide us with goodfruit for this year.
Now we need to choose which four we want toput up. We're going to have four canes. One, two, three, four. Two for the lower wire,two for the upper wire, each heading off in different directions. What I want to look for in this case is canethat's got this nice chocolate brown color, and is about 38 of an inch in diameter. Aboutthe width of your little finger. If it's thinner than that, if it's very weak, it won't producegood fruit. Thin stuff like this, less than 38 of an inch in diameter, we'll just cutthat right out. Here we've got one that's going to go in thisdirection, that looks very nice. I'm going
to count, remember we want about 10 buds onit, so we'll count our buds. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. ThenI just cut out beyond that, because the weaker stuff at the very end isn't going to producevery good fruit. I have my four arms, but you can see I stillhave some leftover canes. What I'm going to use these for are what we call quot;renewal spurs.quot;I'm going to cut these back so that they just have one or two buds on them. What I'm goingto use these buds for, the green shoots that will emerge from these buds and grow out,will be the canes that I'll be putting on the wire next year for fruiting. We call thesequot;renewal spurs.quot;
What is Selection Massale How grape vines are propagated
This vineyard for example is thrity five years old. Now and again, vines are dying because they are too old so they have to be replaced by baby vines young vines. The idea is to do a selection massale and select the best woods we will use toreplace those missing vines. Here for example I have a beautifulviolent perfect vigor and the right of thickness of shoots.
What i do is that i'm going to obviously keep my two buds for next year's fruit, but also keep a section of the cane. which itself would have one two three four five buds.
The idea is to remove that cane when the sap will be a rising in late two winter early spring, and lay that shoot on the find tilth earth with only one bud coming out of the surface: the other four being undergound.
I'll leave that shoot one year, so that it forms or starts forming roots where the actual buds are. After one year we will take it out ofthe ground trim the new shoots to make them a bit more vigorous, and then back in the ground
to replace the missing vines. Selection Massale at work.
GREAT WINES OF CARMEL VALLEY CIMA COLLINA
I started the winery in 2004 along with owner Dick Clankin. Our focus at the time was to present wines makes from small vineyards throughout Monterey County. Nearly ten years later that's what I believe we succeeded in doing. We made wines from all over Monterey County. Pinot Noir. Cabanaret. Sauvion Blanc. Chardonnay. Among other bridals from regions such the Santa Lucia Highlands, Chellon, Carmel Valley. Our new little Rose we're doing. I'm sitting here in our new tasting room. Generally a Rose will be a Pinot or a Cab Rose.
We're located here in a very historic building in Carmel Valley. In fact is one of the oldest buildings in Monterey County. It was built in the late 1800's. it's over hundred years old. And we created a wonderful venue in this old building to showcase the variety of wines that we offered. We are Hilltop Ranch this morning. This is the big day. We are harvesting Pinot Noir. These vines are planted in 2002. And this is our seventh harvest. And we have a crew out here this morning hand picking our Pinot Noir.
It takes all day to pick this vineyard. It's very challenging vineyard to harvest. Very rocky, very hilly. But we believe in the value of hand picking. I've been involved in the wine industry for nearly twenty years. At Cima Collina nine years now. This is actually our tenth harvest. And I've worked in a number of different facilities all around California as well in New Zealand. We are here in Marina at our winery facility. What we're doing today is we're pressing Chardonnay. A lot of what we do here is manuel labor. We combined a lot of tools and machines to do a lot of the work that we do by hand.
We choose to do a lot of this by hand and continue to do it by hand because I believe that's the best way to make wine and the best way to express the style that we established here over the years at the winery over the years. A winemaker should preserve all the unique characteristics that comes from the processing so that the customer can appreciate an interesting experience when they open that bottle of wine.