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;
Deep in Germanys Apple Wine Country AlKeeHol
Apfelwein means to me, something healthy. Whoever goes to drink Apfelwein is in good hands. and is doing something for their wellbeing. Apfelwein is simply a part of Frankfurtand a part of SachsenHausen. When I think of Frankfurt, I think of techno,the train station area, banks. and Apfelwein. We're in an apple orchard. This is what Apfelwein is made of.
Every second apple has a worm in it,but that's not a problem. I'm on my way to see Jens. He runs an Apfelwein shopin the BrÃ¼ckenstraÃŸe. in Sachsenhausen, and hopefully he'll be able totell me why there is so much Apfelwein in this area. Hi!Welcome. I think I'm definitely going to have to try someApfelwein here. What different types of Apfelwein are thereé Frankfurt is most famous for its traditionalquot;Schoppen,quot; an orchard apple cider. made from different types of apples. It's what you'llfind in most of the Apfelwein pubs here.
Usually it would be whatever the landlordhas brewed himself. That's why I'm going to offer you some of my ownbefore you try any of the other 50 sorts. I look forward to it! Here's my modern variation.Let's start with my 2013 vintage. The difference between this and barreled Apfelwein,like it used to be made. is that it's more elegant, softer. It has a nice drinkability. While you're drinking, you already feel likedrinking more.
I don't think a bottle lasts very long.You don't notice the 7% alcohol at all. Now you can try the house quot;Schoppen.quot; It's notbottled, it comes straight from the barrel. While you're at it, I think I might have one. Aquot;Schoppenquot; is meant to be drunk in company. It's meant to be filled up to the top, too. It tastes much more rustical, more acidic,not as fine, not as elegant. What is the development from thisto what I tried beforeé It has a lot to do with the types of apples used.The apples I used in the one you tried before. are chosen for their matching aromas.
That's how you can influence the end result. When I go to other pubs here in the area, whatare the dos and don'tsé If it's an Apfelwein pub, whatever you do,don't order a shandy Apfelwein. Any winemaker would be disgusted if youadded fizzy lemonade to their wine. With Apfelwein, some people seem tothink it's a good idea. In a worst case scenario, you mightget thrown out of the pub. I'm standing in front of the quot;Buchscheer,quot; one of theoldest pubs with a pressing house in Frankfurt. They still press their own Apfelwein,and I want to see how.
This here is the heart of it. The process is as follows, if you'll allowme to show you. We have a large stainless steel funnel, which duringpressing time is filled with a lot of water. Where the guests are sitting now,there is a pile of 2530 tonnes of apples. The apples are put into the funnel and washed.Then they come up the quot;snail elevator.quot; Think of it as a big screw. There is a grater inside and the applesare ground down into little pieces. The apple pieces land on this conveyor belt.
The unique climate of the Rheingau for growing wine grapes
It means that we have never very cold wineters. By far not as cold as Chicago or New York We are crying it is cold if it is 10 degrees. But that's not really cold. We are never too hot in summer. Your summer (in Chicago) is much more hot than our summer. We have very long vegetation period We have leaves on the trees until theend of October beginning of November The leaves on the vines.
Grape picking happens here the in the middle of October until the endof October sometimes even November. California they start grape picking in August andrun through September. In California when they pick grapes its during the day pretty hotinto a white warming up of the grape must and the berries at harvest
they a pick the grapes during the night, the cool of the night. We do not need that. When we pick our grapes, sometimes we need a warm sweater And now it comes to the microbiological biology. The biological conditions are very different whether you have a fruit what's this, the squeezed fruité (must)
fruit. If you have fruits harvested at 30 degrees celsius, 35 degrees, then there from the very beginning ofpicking the yeast and all the microbiological are very active. If it is cold from the very beginning when you pickthe grapes and it goes cold into the into the press and the fresh juices
pretty cool, then the process isvery slow and that keeps aroma that keeps afreshness that keeps the acidity, so because of climate the production and fermentation of grapes and conversion into wine is in a different scale. We do not need cooling facilities no, nature does it.