Pruning is the first key stage of the vineyard cycle which effects overall quality and it’s been a busy but successful start to 2016 for the vineyard team at Hattingley Valley with pruning now complete and the vines ready to take on the next stage in their annual life-cycle.
This year the team began pruning our Hampshire vineyards in early February. Various adjustments were made to the higher altitude sites including a move to a guyot simple training system from the double arm training previously employed. The changes at pruning this season are part of a season long programme of changes designed to restrict yields and further increase fruit quality and flavour intensity at higher altitudes in Hampshire.
Pruning and training systems stayed the same at our lower lying Test Valley sites with only subtle adjustments according to clone and rootstock performance. Pruning was overseen by Hattingley Valley’s vineyard team and undertaken by skilled and hardworking crews. An additional 35 pairs of hands helped prune across six sites covering 23 hectares. All the vineyards at Hattingley are pruned by hand and once cut the prunings are removed from the rows by hand. We were blessed with fine weather for the most part – with just two pauses to let storms Henry and Imogen pass through!
A huge thank you to all the crews on the ground who worked hard to set us up for a beautifully English 2016.