Cane Pruning in the Cain Vineyard – February 2010
After a good winter rain during the past two days, this morning, a gentle fog embraces the vines. The guys call this steeply terraced, south-facing block, “Lion,” recalling the two mountain lions who watched from the hillside above, as the crew planted these vines in 2004.
“Hello—I’m Alberto Ramos. I’ve worked at Cain for 12 years. Here we have a young six year old vine … last year we left eight buds and the canes grew well. Now I’m going to prune it. I will leave on cane with four and one with five buds. And now we have the two canes to tie down [to the wire].”
“We have a six year old vine, where last year we left two canes of four [buds]. Now I’m going to leave two canes with five buds. The key in pruning is the quality: to balance [the vine]; to have good quality grapes. And, for the next year, to have good canes. And now we have two canes of five buds.”
“Last year we left two canes of four buds. Now I’m going to leave two canes of five buds, one on each side. … Ok, we have two canes of five buds. We have two buds more than last year.”
Ashley Bennett has been working with Alberto since she first learned to prune here and to speak Spanish in 1999. Today, she manages the vineyard with her crew of nine. Ouzo, our new vineyard puppy, arrived at Cain in October 2009. He is watching and smelling everything. Grass protects our precious soil from erosion by the winter rains.