September 21, 2017

Pruning Grape Vines

Pruning Grape Vines

Grape vines or vitis disambiguation is a vining and flowering plant in the Vitacea family.  They were some of the earliest species of wild fruiting plants to be domestically grown are mostly used for producing fruit, grapes, or fermenting for wine.  They are often used for ornamental purposed as well.  Grape vines are typically found in the Northern hemisphere.  Although there are about 60 different species in the grapevine family about 80,000 different varieties now exist.  About 20 different species are being grown in the US for production. It is difficult to know exactly how many different species exist as a numer of hybrids have been created.

You can tell the difference between Grape vines and other species in the Vitacea because there petals stay together at the ends and come apart at the base as a cap.  Also, grapevine flowers are unisexual.  These flowers will bud late in the growing season and even through out the winter in preparation for a spring bloom.  Grape vines will put out a couple different kinds of flowers.  One type are sterile that have five long filaments and erect stamens with weak pistils.  The other type are the exact opposite.  They have fertile flowers with fully developed pistils which include reflexed stamens.  Up to four grapes may result from a single flower.  In case you were curious, most grapevines have 38 chromosomes

Ancient Times

The use of Grape vines as a symbol dates far back.  In Greek mythology, as well as Roman, grape vines were often associated with the gods.  They would frequently be portrayed carrying thyrsus wrapped with vines and bunches of grapes.  Grape vines, grapes, and wines are mentioned in the christian bible as well.

Throughout the middle ages and renaissance times, grape vines were often found in artwork of all types.   From paintings, to sculptures, to carving, grapes and vines were used to enhance the artworks image.

Pruning Grape Vines

With growing and harvesting grapes comes the necessary task of pruning grape vines.  Many backyard have  long enjoyes growing grapes in their back yards.  In order to maximize the quality and quantity of grapes one must correctly prune their vines.  Without this annual maintenance, the vines will turn into a mess of vines and foliage and produce poor quality fruit.  In the articles below we’ll dig into the basics of pruning and maintaining grapes.

Grapes

One of the main purposes of producing grapevines is to produce fruiting berries, grapes.  These tasty raw snacks are full of nutrition and are quite versitile.  Beside being used as a snack on the go, they are commonly turned into jams, juices, jellies, wine, extract, raisins, vinegar, and oil.  Grapes always grow in clusters.  Anywhere from 20 to 350 grapes can be found in a single bunch of grapes.  These little berries nearly cover the color spectrum, growing in shades from a dark black to purple, blue, green, orange, yellow, and pink.  Yeast is naturally found on the skin of grapes, which lead to the creation of wine.

Wine

Certainly one of the primary reasons for growing grape vines is to produce grapes to make wine.  The English word wine comes from the German winam which was derived from the Latin vinum.  Historian believe wine making dates back to the 6000 BC in the Middle East where is sign of winemaking have been found in Georgia and Iran.  This alcoholic beverage is made by fermenting the fruit juices of grapes.  It is the natural chemicals in grapes that allows them to ferment even without adding sugars and other artificial substances.  About 2.5 pounds of grapes will produce a single bottle of wine.  It is the different types of grapes that produce the different types of wine such as; Merlot, Gamay, Cabernet Sauvigon, and Pinot Noir.

Some of the top wine producing countries:

      • Spain: 11,700 km  sq.
      •  France: 8,600 km sq.
      • Italy: 8,200 km sq.
      • Turkey: 8,100 km sq.
      • US: 4,100 km sq.
      • Iran 8,600 km sq.
For more info about pruning grape vines watch this video: