Grapevine Annual Cycle

Dormancy/Pruning (December-February)

Dormancy is the important stage of the grapevine annual cycle when growth and development stop temporarily and the vine rests. It is brought on by low temperatures and shortening day length.

At this time, growers prune the vine and set it up for the upcoming season. Pruning and training of the vine are two of the most important aspects for quality grape production – growers decide how much and which parts of the previous season's growth to remove in order to regulate vegetative growth (shoots and leaves) and crop load (grape clusters) to produce quality grapes and optimum yield.

Two principal methods of pruning are spur and cane. It is important for growers to know their crop because some varieties produce a better crop (in terms of yield and quality) with cane pruning while others produce a better crop with spur pruning.

Pruned vineyard

Spur pruned vine

Owl Box

Barn owls are excellent at helping with rodent control. Because the barn owl can live in close proximity to other barn owls, it is a viable integrated pest management tool for sustainable agriculture as well as organic farming. Many California table grape growers install owl boxes in their vineyards to attract barn owls which control pocket gophers and other rodents that may damage the vines and crop.