Goblet Vine Training
The use of Goblet Vine Training in California
Goblet vines are very common in the Rhone Valley of Southern France. They are also popular in warmer wine producing areas in California, and are especially used for old vine Zinfandel.
Usually three or four canes are allowed to remain at the end of each year, but this number varies depending on the region. The rest of the canes are pruned at the end of the growing season. This method effectively keeps grapes near the ground and allows them to continue to ripen at night due to the heat retention of the soil. It is generally not used in cooler climates because it can expose grapes to frost-bite.
Goblet vines consist of a trunk topped with a broader “head” at the top of the permanent part of the vine. Canes grow from the head of the vine each year. Permanent branches of the vine are trained, and only the new, barkless canes are pruned each year.
These vines are resilient to weather and disease, but are labor intensive to harvest. This vine training method is very old and has been used since ancient times. Unfertile soils are necessary, or the vine’s growth may touch the ground and lead to unwanted propagations.
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