Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pruning Australian sangiovese

The photograph shows the MAT1 clone of sangiovese at stage 5 of its annual growth.

The Chalmers Nursery description of this clone is:

'The vine has low vigour, with short internodes. The form of tip is half-open. The bunch structure is typical of Sangiovese “Prugnolo” biotype, characterized by a cylindrical-pyramidal form and loose density of berries; but has a large size of clusters, usually shows a physiological alteration: “hen and chicken” (green millerandage). The berry has small dimension and elliptic shape. Good resistance to botrytis.'

Reading the 1999 McKay et al book on growing Italian grape varieties in Australia has me wondering how some of their predictions and homoclime analyses have panned out.

A case in point: a significant reason for cane pruning sangiovese (aside from low basal bud fruitfulness in some clones) is managing frost risk from early budding. While I know some growers cane prune (such as Bryan Martin of Ravensworth) their sangiovese, it would be interesting to see statistics on how these vines are managed across the Australian regions, matched against heat degree days perhaps?

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