January in the Tamar Valley, Tasmania

Trimming the canopy Vine balance Water

Trimming the Canopy

If your canopy is vigorous, as mine is, you will need to consider vine trimming in January

if you have not already done it in December to encourage fruit set.

Here is a short video clip on trimming your canopy in a Scott Henry Trellis system

to prevent secondary bunches taking the potential energy of the vine to ripen the primary clusters of fruit properly.

A comparison - the row on the left has been trimmed to a height of 2.5 metres.

Vine balance

To get fully ripened fruit with which to make your best wine,

it is important to have a balance between the amount of fruit you are ripening and the amount of leaf in the canopy.

Summer trimming is often necessary in cool climate vineyards to maintain the correct balance between fruit and the canopy.

It is desirable to have at least 6-10 leaves on each cane to properly ripen the fruit on each cane.

Trimming limits strong vertical growth and the energy of the vine into vegetative growth than fruit growth.

Trimming generally leads to a less dense canopy that allows more light to fall on the leaves and fruit.

It allows nets which will be placed over the canopy once verasion has occurred to be positioned easily.

Trimming does encourage lateral growth and the possibility of secondary fruit clusters.

These rob some of the potential energy of the vine in growing the primary fruit if not checked.

In a small vineyard such as Winderdoon, lateral growth is relatively easy to keep under control,

so I usually trim my canopy at least twice per season.


An adequate water supply to the roots of the vines is essential at this time of the year to encourage strong fruit growth.

I water my vines each week allowing 10 litres of water for each vine.

This ensures active growth of the bunches which go through a rapid growth phase in early January.

Later in the month, this growth will slow until another growth spurt will occur just prior to verasion.

Next Month: February



Water Management

Leaf Plucking






This page was last updated on 07/01/2014