What’s going on in the vineyard?

What’s going on in the vineyard?


It’s that time of year, ladies & gentlemen, we are spending hours on end, in this unseasonably warm weather, trimming the vines back.

Perhaps you remember my comments in earlier posts about how vigorous our Iowa vines are. Well, this leads us to do a lot of trimming in the springtime…for a few reasons:

  • So we don’t have a jungle instead of a vineyard.
  • To help the vines have a manageable crop load.
  •  We cut the vines down to only a few buds to help with reducing vigor.
  • Because it looks nice 🙂

Lately, we’ve been giving it a “haircut”, just a rough pruning, so we can get most of last year’s growth off. Then, it’s easier to fine prune down to the specific number of buds we want later in the spring.

Before haircut
After haircut

what does pruning have to do with my wine, meg?

Well, actually, I’m glad you asked. Not only are we hoping to reduce vigor, we are hoping to reduce the Nitrogen in the grapes– which, in turn, reduces the acid levels in your wine.

Reducing the acid levels means less tart flavors in the wines, and hopefully higher tannins (that dry-your-mouth-out feel that is usually so desireable in dry wines).

Pruning also helps lower the number of grape clusters on the vine. This is important because it will help the plant contribute more resources (think vitamins & minerals!) to the fewer clusters on the vine. Ideally, this would help create beautiful flavors in the grapes that are translated into the wine.

and, now, you know!

So, with that, my avid blog readers/Soldier Creek-ians– you are armed with more knowledge! Now, go forth, and spread the knowledge so that we may all know. Or…just share this blog with your friends 🙂


with midbest love,