Pruning Work in the Getariako Txakolina D.O. Vineyards
Pruning work is one of the most important jobs within the growth cycle of the vines which will determine the production of the next harvest. In the Getariako Txakolina D.O. area, there are two significant ways of pruning: cane and trellis. We’ll give details of both processes in this post.
In the case of Ondarrabi Zubi and Ondarrabi Beltza, varieties used to make Getariako Txakolina, once the leaves turn yellow and begin dropping to the ground, the nutrients and reserves transfer to the wood. At this moment, the vine is in growth repose, ready for winter and, therefore, to begin the “dry” pruning of winter.
The Ondarrabi Zuri variety is a vigorous variety, with a high growth rate, so it needs a long pruning, that is, a pruning that leaves a high number of leaf buds. In spring, the new shoots are born from the leaf buds with their inflorescence which, after flowering, become clusters of grapes and therefore the next harvest.
Pruning: cane and trellis
Thus, in the case of cane pruning, pruning takes place in the shape of a cross, leaving, on average, 4 vine shoots with 6 leaf buds and 4 spurs with 2 leaf buds each.
In the case of trellis pruning, the most common modality is “Double Guyot”, in which long vine shoots with 6-8 buds and 2 spurs of 2 buds, which serve as renewal for later years.
The work of pruning in the vineyards of Getariako Txakolina stretches out, depending on the surface area of vines each viticulturist has, from December to March, always trying to have it finished before the vine begins to shoot so as not to damage it with the pruning tools.
But the work of pruning does not only involve the cutting of branches in the vine, but also, as the pruning takes place, the tangle of vine shoots that have grown during spring remain in the ground. Generally speaking, these vine shoots are crushed, incorporating them into the ground as organic material.
Also, as the vine is a “liana” plant and therefore tends to fall to the ground, it must be supported when being staked ready to be prepared for when it begins to shoot.
And we cannot forget that the fertilising of the vines must be carried out at the end of winter, providing the analyses carried out in the soil indicate a need for nutrients in the plantation.
As you can see, winter is one of the most important seasons for vines and, alongside other cultural tasks such as green pruning, sprouting and leaf-stripping carried out in spring and summer, it is fieldwork which has, at the beginning of autumn, the final result of the grape harvest.
The experience and skill of the Getariako Txakolina D.O. viticulturists, throughout the year, result in the preparation of a wine with character and personality, our Getaria txakoli.