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If that’s enough to get you past the last frost, that’s HUGE.Since we don’t have overhead sprinklers or vineyard fans, the two most effective means of frost protection, late pruning is our only option.Our little vineyard takes me only two days to prune, with Dad helping. In 2008 we made eight gallons of Syrah instead of the normal 120 gallons.Several successive frost events in April were responsible.The trunk either is trained into two arms running parallel to the ground in opposing directions along the cordon wire, like the letter “T”, bilateral cordon, or is bent over to run horizontally along the cordon wire, unilateral cordon.Every six to ten inches along the cordon is a growing position, which is pruned back to the one to three bud spur each winter.

The most common training and pruning method in Napa is called cordon training, with spur pruning.We use a system of head training in conjunction with spur pruning.This is a traditional style of pruning commonly seen in old Zinfandel vineyards.To further the species, grapes only need to get sweet enough to make animals want to eat them, thereby spreading seeds around in their droppings.Good wine requires fully mature fruit, much sweeter than wild growing vines would produce.

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