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Decrease of yield excess through winter pruning in 'Tempranillo' variety

Alburquerque, M.V., Yuste, R., Martin, H., Yuste, J.
Acta horticulturae 2004 no.652 pp. 125-132
buds, crop yield, grapes, pruning, shoots, vines, vineyards, wine quality, wines, winter
The low grape yield has been, and continues to be an argument to uphold the quality of the wine. This is the reason why the old vineyards with low yields are the most appraised by winemakers to elaborate “wine of quality”. It is convenient to know how to manage winter pruning to obtain the best grapes while the vines are in full productivity period. Tempranillo is the most widely grown red variety in Spain and is traditionally spur pruned in winter, with two fruitful buds per spur. The yield obtained is occasionally high and provokes the unbalance of the wine elaborated from this variety. The pruning trial carried out has been based on the nature of the buds (fruitful and basebuds) and focused on obtaining more limited yields. The results have shown that the nature of the buds used in the winter pruning have had a decisive influence on yield, shoot vigor and must quality in Tempranillo variety. The use of shorter elements in winter pruning has provoked around 43% yield decrease when using basal and fruitful buds with respect to those including fruitful or regular buds. The application of a shorter pruning has provoked a possible improvement in must quality through the increase of the probable alcoholic degree correlated to the lower yield. To sum up, a considerable reduction in yield could be obtained with the appropriated management of winter pruning instead of waiting until the “vines are old”.