Lake County Winegrape Commission Announces Launch of Lake County Pruning School Registration Year Two

Photo by Nathan Dehart

The Lake County Winegrape Commission announces the highly anticipated launch of the second year of Lake County Pruning School, which will begin December 2023.

The immersive training program will again be delivered in collaboration with Simonit & Sirch, the renowned grapevine pruning school with more than 30 years of research and experience and a client list that includes some of the world’s preeminent vineyards in the United States and Europe, including the recently announced Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

In addition to the introductory course that was taught last year, Simonit & Sirch Master Pruners Jacopo Miolo and Jett Johansson will also teach an intermediate level class. The

introduction to Simonit & Sirch pruning methods will focus on grapevine sap flow and teach innovative pruning techniques that foster grapevine health and resistance to pests and drought. This supports improved consistency of fruit over the years and, ultimately, a longer vineyard lifespan. The intermediate course will build on these methods and concentrate on young vines and cane pruning. Both courses will be offered in English and Spanish.

The introductory course is comprised of a theoretical online lesson and three days of practical hands-on lessons in the vineyard — two days during the winter for vine pruning and one day during the spring for shoot thinning. The program provides in-depth fundamental principles applicable to all grapevine training systems, such as controlled branching, vascular flow, cuts and crown buds, and protective spare wood. The intermediate course will begin with some classroom instruction on day one and will include a copy of the Guyot Methodology book by Simonit & Sirch. The remaining class time will be spent at two Lake County vineyard sites that will allow for the exploration of young vines and cane pruned vines.

Lake County Pruning School is designed for vineyard owners, vineyard supervisors and crew leaders, and experienced vineyard workers. Each class enables one-on-one learning and an opportunity to exchange ideas and techniques with others in the cohort.

“As a farmer, and specifically a vineyard manager, I feel it’s inherent that we want to ensure the health, vitality, and productivity of our vines over the long term. With this proven method of less harmful pruning, I believe it puts us on a better path toward that goal,” says Chris King, vineyard manager at Catspaw Vineyard, who completed year one of Lake County Pruning School.

Register now: https://www.lakecountywinegrape.org/news-events/events/lake-county-pruning-school-2023-2024/

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