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Organic & Sustainable Farming Practices

The Changes Made by Phil Coturri

Patrick Campbell had trained his vines into 3-4 canes, resulting in a heavier fruit load per vine.  Phil Coturri, who took over management of the vineyard in 2011, has cut back the canes to two, resulting in fewer clusters per vine.  The new training system, widely used in Bordeaux, is called a Double Guyot.  Each vine now has only two canes which are trained in opposite directions along wires.  The lower yields result in better concentration in the berries and more consistent ripening. 

The vineyard historically had been cane pruned. Coturri brought the pruning to a higher level.  He shortened the canes to 8-10 buds and eliminated spur positions.  This reduces short shoots and gives a more even bud push across the canes. Coturri insists upon no canes crossong over the head and leaving the head area open, so that the clusters don't end on top of each other.   If the clusters are on top of each other, the result is restricted airflow, less sunlight, and more green character.  The new training creates more air flow through the fruit zone and increases dappled light onto the clusters to produce better phenolics .

Coturri has also improved trellising to allow more precision in shoot positioning and again increase air flow in the canopy, reducing potential for mildew.