Shoot thinning or ‘desuckering‘ is a procedure that is carried out every year and involves removing the shoots and therefore also some grape clusters. This intervention reduces production levels but enhances the plant’s potential to optimise the quality of the grape. This also allows for better air circulation within the vine and a healthier environment in which diseases are less likely to spread. It’s work that requires precision and attention and also responsibility, because good shoot thinning will influence the quality and quantity of the end product.
Leaf removal involves removing some of the plant’s leaves, allowing for better aeration of the vine. Any subsequent sulphur treatment will be more effective because it can reach the grape bunches more efficiently. The bunches will also be better ventilated and will ripen in the optimum conditions. Obviously, leaf removal should not be excessive otherwise it will remove the plant’s surface area for assimilation. This year we’ve decided to start leaf removal earlier to encourage production of smaller grape berries: these will contain less juice, allowing for a more concentrated final product.