Tips for vineyard workers

Introduction

In many grapevines, in the irrigation areas especially, canopies tend to be excessively dense. This causes the inside leaves to be in the shade, which impacts negatively on grape analyses, fertility and diseases, amongst others. Breaking out of leaves, whether manual or mechanical, is rapidly becoming common practice in South Africa.

Benefits of breaking out leaves

  • The incidence of rot can be drastically reduced by removing the leaves on the morning sun side, for example.
  • Better spraying coverage on the bunches can be achieved.
  • It may replace suckering in blocks where this could not be done in good time.
  • The colour of red grapes is improved if the leaves are broken out just after set.
  • Break the leaves severely around the bunch zone to avoid green flavours in blocks that are known for this.

With thanks to my colleagues at VinPro for photos, as well as the Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University.

NB: For more specific information about breaking out leaves in your own area, contact your VinPro regional consultant.

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The applications of breaking out leaves.

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