THE WINERY NOW
Pruning is for Bodega Familia Schroeder one of the most important tasks in the vineyard. “It enables us to keep a balance in the yield of grapes throughout time, enhancing the quality and health of the fruit. This activity lengthens the life of the vineyards, and guarantees consistent harvests from one year to the next. It also allows us to establish the size of the plant that best fits the space where it grows, in order to facilitate the task of the agronomy team,” says Ramiro Guiroy, our Agricultural Engineer.
“The first phase of pruning is the pre-pruning, which is mechanically carried out with a device attached to a tractor that, by means of rotary blades, removes dry leaves and leftover bunches, and cuts the vine shoots with length to spare, at about 20 or 25 cm from the cordon. This makes easier the work of those that will later make the cleaner cuts that will complete the pruning, a more precise undertaking that must be done by hand,” says Herman Schroeder, member of the winery’s own team of agronomists.
The pruning begins early in July, when it is winter in Argentina, at the time of the first frosts, when the last leaves fall from the plant, and the vine shoots are left exposed. The plant is dormant; the sap has gone down into the roots. Last season’s vine shoots are eliminated to allow the regeneration of the plant.
“Pruning marks the beginning of a new season in the vineyard; the time has come to determine both the quality and quantity of the yield of grapes,” explains Evelyn Hetherington, another member of the team of agronomists of Bodega Familia Schroeder. “It is very important because once the pruning is over, there is no turning back. Here, in the finca, we strategically decide how we are going to prune each section, taking into account how the vines reacted in the previous season. Besides, in certain cases a pruner is assigned a specific task, as not all of them have the same skill level, and we can make good use of this advantage.”