Pruning secrets and techniques



Pruning ends with the end of winter and begins with the coldest months from November to the beginning of March, months when the vine is still sleeping.

Pruning seems like an easy job; shears in hand and cutting shoots, but the truth is not so. It is a job for experts that must be done with care and knowledge. Pruning is perhaps one of the most important tasks of the entire viticultural cycle, and it must be done perfectly.

In addition, pruning is the first job of the year, the beginning of the vine cycle, and it is necessary to think carefully about the strategy to be achieved in each vine, plot and variety. The final fruit will depend in part on good pruning.

Pruning aims to:

– Give structure to the vine

– Accompany it towards good and long ageing.

– Regularize production.

But how do we achieve these objectives? What are the techniques and systems used to achieve excellent pruning results?

In this journey we show you these questions, these three objectives are what determine which systems and techniques we use.

How do we give structure to the vine?

The vine is a Liliaceae, a climbing plant that seeks light, we get it to be a shrub through pruning. To give this structure we use training systems that vary depending on the variety, region and climate. In a large part of the Penedés region, there are two main systems that we use on the estate: the traditional vaso training and Royat training.

 Example of the two conduction systems

The vaso is the best possible because of our Mediterranean conditions.

The reasons for this are that it is a natural formation, integrated into the landscape, in 3 dimensions: better balance for the plant, good balance of sunny and shaded leaves, grapes not exposed to the sun and aerated.

Royat pruning or Cordon trellis pruning is a pruning system more suitable for mechanization of the whole process, more orderly. In very sunny areas it can cause over-ripening because more leaves are exposed to the sun. In fertile soils, it is interesting to control the vegetation.

We prioritize the goblet training system in shallow soils such as on the different slopes of the Serral hill, where we have shallower soils and less shoot growth. And the Royat system in deeper and more fertile soils, such as the Plana vineyard, where we can control the vine shoots from falling to the ground due to their length with wires.


Pruning the Lake Vineyard

It is not easy to give structure to the vine, you must know where to cut the shoots and take into account all the factors, that is why we say that it is one of the most important tasks since it is the first one and it will start the cycle with a good footing.

Accompanying the vine towards a good and long ageing process

In order to achieve a long life for the vine, it is important not to make wounds in the wood during pruning. Therefore, regardless of the training systems used in each vineyard, there is a technique that is the common thread of any type of pruning that we carry out on the estate:

Respect pruning

The idea of respect pruning comes from two winegrowers: François Dal, a winegrower from Loire and the Simonit academy in Italy, who seek to avoid diseases in the wood and extend the life of the vines.

Pruning is still a traumatic action for the plant, so with respect to pruning, we try that the vine does not have serious wounds and recovers well and quickly from the cuts.

The main actions to guarantee respect pruning are:

– We leave respect wood of the size of the diameter of the cut to avoid drying cones.

– We make small cuts to avoid large desiccation cones.

– We respect the sap flow in the trunks and branches.

– We recover weak branches by forming new branches from the trunk of the vine.


Pruning at Clos del Serral.

Regularizing production

And as the last objective, we want to obtain a balanced production to obtain tasty fruit with a good balance of ripening. Although there are still many months before the harvest, with the pruning we must already foresee what we want to obtain in each vineyard and variety. To regulate this production, we cut differently; we can differentiate between:

– Short pruning applied to all varieties, except Xarelo. It consists of leaving between 4 and 6 heads of 2 buds per vine.

– Mixed pruning in the Xarelos variety, because it is a not very fertile variety in old wood and we balance the production by leaving 1 rod of 4-6 buds plus the 4-6 heads of two buds.

As we can see, pruning is not only scissors for hand and cutting, it is an art and it is the first step to obtain exceptional wines. It is the beginning of the cycle that after pruning with good temperatures will begin the weeping and the sprouting, a process that will culminate with the harvest, where we will see part of the fruit of the pruning.


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