Where Site And Growing System Meet In The Vineyard

David Wiemann explains how the Scott Henry training system controls vigor with four canes instead of two. (Photo credit: Christina Herrick)
David Wiemann explains how the Scott Henry training system controls vigor with four canes instead of two. (Photo credit: Christina Herrick)

“Good grape growing is knowing the site and knowing what it wants to do,” says David Wiemann, vineyard manager of Sheldrake Point Winery in Ovid, NY.

In grape growing, there’s an intersection between site, growing system, and variety. Sheldrake Point Vineyards is known for mastering the site and growing system equation.

Sheldrake Point Winery overlooks Cayuga Lake, and Wiemann says there are seven different soil types within the 44 acres of vineyards in production. The vineyard ranges from 458 to 578 feet in elevation.

David Wiemann examines a cluster to see how it is sizing up, making sure the canopy is getting the right amount of light. (Photo credit: Christina Herrick)
David Wiemann examines a cluster to see how it is sizing up, making sure the canopy is getting the right amount of light. (Photo credit: Christina Herrick)

This variation in both soil type and elevation influences the vigor of the vines. To control the vigor produced in the southern half of the vineyard due to water availability and soil conditions, Wiemann uses the Scott Henry training system. It’s similar to VSP, except Scott Henry uses four canes, two attached to an upper wire and two attached to a lower wire. While vertical shoots are trained upward in a narrow wall in VSP, the shoots in the

Scott Henry system are trained to go down from the lower wire and up from the higher wire.

“If you have a lot of shoots, this is the perfect training system,” he says. “If you manage to the correct size shoot, you’ll get the right size cluster.”

The system controls vigor and allows better light interception. Wiemann says vigor plays a huge role in the flavor profile of the grapes. The lower-elevation ‘Riesling’ vines planted in 2007 are on Scott Henry, and this helps control their growth and fruit yields.

“If these were on VSP, we wouldn’t get close enough to harvest. It would be too green or the botrytis would get in the cluster,” he says.

Wiemann and his vineyard team thins the canopy early, reducing the number of leaves before bloom.

“The sooner you do it, the tougher the berries are, and the better you can protect them and the less susceptible they are,” he says. “It’s about having the right amount of foliage.”

‘Cabernet Franc,’ ‘Cabernet Sauvignon,’ ‘Gamay’ and ‘Merlot’ are very vigorous and are a challenge to get smaller berries.

“They absolutely have to be on Scott Henry,” he says. “You get a higher crop level per vine, and the smaller berry. You need to understand the conditions that make the wine.”

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Grapes Stories
GenNext Growers
June 29, 2017
Cornell Graduate Student Earns Grape Disease Research
Doctoral candidate recognized by American Society of Enology and Viticulture for work studying sour rot pathogens. Read More
Grapes
June 29, 2017
Cornell University Wants You to Name That Grape
Contest to name cold-tolerant variety a seedless ‘Concord’-type berry runs through July 31. Read More
Grapes
June 26, 2017
Washington Grape Grower Battles New Threat
Apples, cherries, and pears are also threatened by Tobacco Ringspot Virus, a pathogen never before seen in Washington state. Read More
Food Safety
June 21, 2017
Organization Seeks Winegrape Exemption Produce Safety Rule
California Association of Winegrape Growers says because winegrapes are grown for processing, they should be exempt from produce safety rule. Read More
Grapes
June 5, 2017
California Winegrowers Award Scholarships to Employees’ Kids
California Association of Winegrape Growers Foundation awards $30,000 in student scholarships. Read More
Grapes
June 5, 2017
Getting to the Bottom of Berry Scarring
It’s a costly defect, but learning what causes berry scarring can help you prevent it. Read More
Grapes
June 3, 2017
Powdery Mildew Management Tips for Vineyards
Follow these suggestions to help reduce disease pressure in your vineyard. Read More
Grapes
June 2, 2017
Cutting Down on Biggest Grape Growing Expense
An automated grapevine pruner hopes may help slash labor costs. Read More
Grapes
June 1, 2017
Organization Now Washington Winegrowers
New name and logo better reflects the evolution of the state’s industry, as more growers have wineries. Read More
Grapes
May 19, 2017
Researchers Still Have a Lot to Learn about Spotted Lanternfly
While some feeding habits have been recognized, there’s still a learning curve with this enigmatic invasive pest. Read More
Grapes
April 25, 2017
Examining the Effectiveness of Biologicals Against Downy Mildew in Grapes
Growing conditions in the East are breeding grounds for pathogens, and coupled with highly susceptible Vitis vinifera cultivars proves to make sustainable grape growing practices a challenge. Read More
glass of red wine
Grapes
April 20, 2017
Would You Be Willing to Pay More for Organic Wine?
While consumers might be ready to fork over more for organic produce, study says the feeling isn't quite the same when it comes to the adult beverage. Read More
Grapes
April 19, 2017
Donnell Brown Named President of National Grape & Wine Initiative
New president brings experience in wine industry communications. Read More
Grapes
March 28, 2017
Understanding the Economics Of Red Blotch in Grapes
An economist and a plant pathologist team up to help growers understand the threshold for action when a vine is diagnosed with the virus. Read More
Grapes
March 6, 2017
Washington Announces Record Winegrape Harvest
‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ is the leading grape variety, accounting for more than a quarter of the total harvest. Read More
The Latest
Grapes
July 7, 2017
California Winegrowers Applaud $5 Millio…
Governor approves Pierce’s Disease Control Program money for the first time since 2011. Read More
Grapes
July 3, 2017
Climate Doesn’t Weigh Heavy On Ste. Mich…
While warming trend has been a part of past few seasons, the vineyard is incorporating new technologies to grape growing versus altering production techniques. Read More
Grapes
July 3, 2017
How to Handle Warming Pacific Northweste…
The warming temperatures in the Pacific Northwest are well-suited for red winegrape production, but other changes in viticulture practices must be made. Read More
GenNext Growers
June 29, 2017
Cornell Graduate Student Earns Grape Dis…
Doctoral candidate recognized by American Society of Enology and Viticulture for work studying sour rot pathogens. Read More
Grapes
June 29, 2017
Cornell University Wants You to Name Tha…
Contest to name cold-tolerant variety a seedless ‘Concord’-type berry runs through July 31. Read More
Grapes
June 26, 2017
Washington Grape Grower Battles New Thre…
Apples, cherries, and pears are also threatened by Tobacco Ringspot Virus, a pathogen never before seen in Washington state. Read More
Food Safety
June 21, 2017
Organization Seeks Winegrape Exemption P…
California Association of Winegrape Growers says because winegrapes are grown for processing, they should be exempt from produce safety rule. Read More
Grapes
June 5, 2017
California Winegrowers Award Scholarship…
California Association of Winegrape Growers Foundation awards $30,000 in student scholarships. Read More
Grapes
June 5, 2017
Getting to the Bottom of Berry Scarring
It’s a costly defect, but learning what causes berry scarring can help you prevent it. Read More
Grapes
June 3, 2017
Powdery Mildew Management Tips for Viney…
Follow these suggestions to help reduce disease pressure in your vineyard. Read More
Grapes
June 2, 2017
Cutting Down on Biggest Grape Growing Ex…
An automated grapevine pruner hopes may help slash labor costs. Read More
Grapes
June 1, 2017
Organization Now Washington Winegrowers
New name and logo better reflects the evolution of the state’s industry, as more growers have wineries. Read More
Grapes
May 19, 2017
Researchers Still Have a Lot to Learn ab…
While some feeding habits have been recognized, there’s still a learning curve with this enigmatic invasive pest. Read More
Grapes
April 25, 2017
Examining the Effectiveness of Biologica…
Growing conditions in the East are breeding grounds for pathogens, and coupled with highly susceptible Vitis vinifera cultivars proves to make sustainable grape growing practices a challenge. Read More
Grapes
April 20, 2017
Would You Be Willing to Pay More for Org…
While consumers might be ready to fork over more for organic produce, study says the feeling isn't quite the same when it comes to the adult beverage. Read More
Grapes
April 19, 2017
Donnell Brown Named President of Nationa…
New president brings experience in wine industry communications. Read More
Grapes
March 28, 2017
Understanding the Economics Of Red Blotc…
An economist and a plant pathologist team up to help growers understand the threshold for action when a vine is diagnosed with the virus. Read More
Grapes
March 6, 2017
Washington Announces Record Winegrape Ha…
‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ is the leading grape variety, accounting for more than a quarter of the total harvest. Read More