- Publish Date: Oct 8, 2010
Schooling At Pruning
The first in our series on the tough jobs involved with winemaking.
Ever dream of quitting your job and working at a vineyard? In about two minutes, you'll be thinking that your day job isn't so bad after all.
The Winemakers, the PBS show that took a group of strangers and put them to work in the vineyard and in the winery, is soon to roll out its second season. In celebration of the harvest currently in full swing throughout the northern hemisphere, for the next few weeks The Daily Sip will bring you several sneak peeks at The Winemakers--each featuring an especially tedious, difficult or messy task required to make good wine. Today's lesson: Pruning!
Summer pruning involves cutting out excess branches and leaves. The purpose is to keep the vine in balance so the leaves don't capture too much sunlight and ripen the grapes too quickly, before the end of the season--as well as to keep the shoots on adjacent vines from growing into each other. The trick, though, is to leave enough cover so the leaves can still shade the grapes, protecting them from scorching under the hot sun.
Pruning is tough work, as the above video clip reveals. The contests on The Winemakers talk a big game, but they don't exactly show impressive skills. Check out the video, and tell us below if you think you could do better--and why.