Chapter 29

Winter Protection of Grapevines

Managing Winter-Injured Grapevines

Depending on the site, variety and temperature of each event, damage to vines may range from simple bud injury to complete loss of the above-ground vine structure. If the cold damage is not too severe the vines can be pruned to compensate for the damage, but vine removal may be required if the damage to the bark or phloem is extensive.

Pruning Strategies

Vineyards that experienced very little damage from winter temperatures can be pruned normally but if the damage is more extensive the pruning levels will need to be adjusted to compensate for both injury and crop load. Generally, growers will not begin pruning until after the predicted last date of damaging winter temperatures.

Vine Removal

Depending on the severity, growers may want to cut the trunk back in early summer and use the growing season to grow suckers up from the trunk and retrain, or cut back all the vines and retrain the entire block. If you decide to cut back the trunk cut it off a few inches above the ground. If roots have not been injured by cold temperatures, the suckers (shoots) are likely to grow vigorously.

Click on the following topics for more information on winter protection of grapevines.