The vineyards are now dormant but that does not mean we don’t have work to do. During winter we have to prune our grape vines. This is one of the most important tasks in the vineyard and one that can improve or reduce the quality of our grapes.
Pruning is the process during which we cut off last year’s wood (canes). With pruning we can create uniform vineyards, keep grapes free from diseases and pests, protect the grapes from the harsh Cypriot sun and ripen our grapes.
At Fikardos winery most of our private vineyards are trained with the double cordon system and spur pruned. This means our grapevines are planted in straight lines and its cordons are supported by a horizontal trellises system. Spur pruning means that the shoots from the previous year are cut back to a spur with one, two or three buds.
Traditional goblet system (Bush vines)
The remaining, older vineyards are still trained with the traditional goblet system and again spur pruned. This means our grapevines are shaped just like a small bushes. This was the preferred training method by the old-timers and is still used widely around Cyprus. The goblet system is easy to maintain as no supporting poles or wires are required. The bush-like shape also helps us protected the grapes from the sun and the high temperatures in summer since all of the grapes grow within the think foliage.
But not all varieties are pruned the same way. For example Maratheftiko and Giannoudi are both very vigorous. Vigorous vines will produce less grapes if not managed properly. All the effort of the plant is transferred towards the creation of new shoots and not for the development and ripening of fruit. In addition the excess growth creates more shade which again prevents our grapes from ripening. In this case we want more canes and more buds in order to limit vegetative growth. On the other hand grape varieties like Mataro are not so vigorous and need to be pruned more severely.
At the moment we are pruning our Mataro vineyards in Pano Arodes and next will be our Maratheftiko, Giannoudi and Xynisteri vineyards.