Minimally Pruned Riesling in the Mosel

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Minimally Pruning has been successful for many years in Australia. Thisviticultural technique is achieved by not pruning the vines and rather form a sort of basket with the canes. This obviously leaves many buds on the vine and is conducive to a very vigorous grape vine. The theory goes that the vine will self regulate itself after a few years, the vigor slows down and the crop load settles down. The benefits of MP (for Minimal Pruning) is lower labor cost (read no need to prune!) but also more shading for the grapes (from a larger canopy), good airflow by the creation of a “dead zone” in the center of the canopy and smallclusters. I have seen several successful trials in Washington but I was not expecting seeing a MP vineyard in the Mosel (more on the not-so traditional Mosel viticulture in a later post). Guess what, I found one and the owner loved it and thought this might be the way to go for him (pictured above). This vineyard was only slightly converted since it was retrofitted on a wire system from the traditional post trellis system (note the vines were very low to the ground which I had not seen for MP vineyards). May be time for us to do our own trial in the Yakima Valley?

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