Known as one of the most important cultural operations in the vineyard, pruning is the task that regulates vegetative growth and fruit production. This process is essential to guarantee the quality of the grapes and a good annual harvest.
At Quinta da Raza, pruning is a moment of pleasure for the whole team, as this is the only way to increase the chance of getting the best out of our vineyards, year after year. Our viticulture team strives to ensure that the vineyards produce a balanced amount of thriving fruit , while respecting Mother Nature's requirements.
The work starts right at the beginning of the year, between January and March, in the winter time. This is the perfect time to prune the vines as the vines are dormant.
To ensure a good pruning of the vine, there must be prior knowledge of its physiology - the process stimulates the beginning of a new cycle. The secret lies in finding the right balance that promotes the growth of the vine, maintaining its size and shape. The nature of each region takes a preponderant role in this task: different regions, soils, environments, grape varieties and resulting wine style, will condition and influence the type of pruning to be carried out.
How do we prune our vines?
Here, at Quinta da Raza, we prune the cord (main stem) that remains attached to the wire. The grapevine is pruned in beads about a foot apart, each with 2 to 3 buds.
In this way, we aim to achieve our balanced yield with great quality goals. If more buds are left on the vine, it would produce a lot of grapes and foliage, thus a reduction in sunlight that reaches the bunches leads to a lower quality of the grapes.
Thus, we try to repeat the same number of buds on the vine year after year to obtain consistency and balance on the vine, to ensure the best grapes for the wines of Quinta da Raza.
So, why do we prune vines?
Due to its highly productive qualities in the right season, the vine must be oriented towards what we want from it - pruning allows us to direct how many bunches of grapes we want to be produced in the next season.This is a decision that brings us together and concerns our specialists. At Quinta da Raza, we always take into account the climate, the soil, the age and the vigo of the vines when deciding how many buds to leave on the vine, while we prune manually. This decision, in addition to affecting the quantity of grapes produced, also affects the balance, consistency, sustainability and viability of the resulting harvest.