About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Canopy Management

You will probably ask yourself what is 'canopy management' and why would you need to manage the canopy. A simple answer is to expose the vine to as much direct sunlight as possible and give each cluster of grapes the best possible chance of achieving full physiological ripeness, flavour and character.
A complex series of techniques including: vine spacing, trellising, shoot positioning, and leaf removal to improve both light and air circulation in an effort to create the optimal grape-growing environment for maximum flavour, colour, and ripeness of the grapes.


Such techniques are and should be very specific to each vineyard site, contingent on such things as soil fertility, grape variety, the age of the vine, unique microclimate and seasonal influences. Proper canopy management can affect the colour, flavour, and/or structure of grapes. It can also help prevent disease problems.
For instance, removing leaves and shoots improves aeration, thereby reducing susceptibility to excess moisture inside the canopy - leading to rot and mildew on grape bunches. There is however a fine and careful art to removing excess foliage and it can be different with each new growing season.

Enough leaves must be left on the vine to provide the required energy for grape maturation (i.e. maximum sunlight interception and optimum photosynthesis); excessive leaf removal can bleach the fruit's colour, cause sunburn on the surface of the grapes, or impede ripening of the bunches.
On the other hand, vineyards in warmer/ drier areas require less leaf removal than those in cooler/ moist climates. In the end, good canopy management - with result in the perfect balance between vine growth and grape production - meaning the difference between an ordinary wine and one of distinction.

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