Course: VIT 6.04 Viticulture Science
Assignment title: Balanced vines and balanced pruning
Due date 1 September 2020
Length A written assignment of approximately 1500 - 2000 words
Weighting 20% of the final mark.
What is a balanced vine? You can have a balanced vine cropping at 10t/ha and one cropping at 20t/ha. Achieving a balanced vine in the vineyard is largely the main goal of the viticulturist. A balanced vine is generally classified as a situation when maximum fruit yields can be ripened to the targeted fruit quality consistently from year to year. The climate and soil environments are the main factors regulating the capacity of the vine, thus making it difficult for the viticulturist to ascertain what a balanced vine for a specific vineyard site is.
A common method of assessing vine balance is measuring the yield to pruning weight ratio (Y/P). It is generally accepted that vine balance can be maintained with a Y/P weight ratio of between 5 – 10 kg of fruit per 1 kg of pruning weight (Smart, 2001) with cooler climates being at the lower values.
Balanced pruning is one method a viticulturist can use to match vegetative growth to fruit production to construct a balanced vine from season to season. Leaving more buds at pruning results in shorter shoots per vine, while severely pruning vines with fewer buds retained will have less shoots that grow faster and results in higher shoot vigour. The key is to work out the required number of buds to retain at pruning to produce balanced vines. Richard Smart developed the “two golden rules” of pruning to help make this decision.
Rule 1: Prune to 30 buds per kilogram of pruning weight
Rule 2: Prune so you will have 15 shoots per metre of canopy
You are to produce an assignment based on the following scenario. You have just purchased a vineyard and you have just signed a supply arrangement with a large local wine company. The company produces a table wine (you will negotiate a variety to use with tutors) and they are positive that a “balanced vine” grown on your site will suit the wine style and grape quality they are after.
You are to prepare an assignment that will outline the analysis of the current vine balance situation and a plan going forward with the pruning for the coming season.
On-Campus students will use their assigned bays in the EIT vineyard to collect the details that will be used for the assignment.
Distance students will need to monitor a “bay” of vines in a commercial grape crop in a vineyard. You are required to use the same vines being used in assessment 1. If you have any difficulty you can contact the lecturers and we can help you.
Table 1 gives vine details that you will need to collect in order to assess the vineyard’s current status and cropping levels. Using this information, you will consider if the vines are in balance and then develop a pruning regime and or canopy management techniques to achieve a balanced vine in the following seasons.
As a minimum your assignment should have the following headings:
1. Title Page
Name of the work, your name, student ID etc.
Give a brief but concise introduction on the vineyard site you have collected data from. Additionally, in your own words discuss the importance of vine balance in a vineyard.
3. Current situation
In this section you are to examine the results obtained from data collected in Table 1 and based on these figures and your own research discuss if the vineyard is in balance.
In this section you are to propose a pruning and canopy management regime that will provide the basis for developing a balanced vine in the following season.
Make sure to discuss the changes you’re proposing and include the following:
• Discussion on the vine vigour and the appropriateness of the current pruning levels
• Why this proposal is ideal and compare it to other alternatives
• Measurements to achieve balanced vines by pruning and canopy management techniques
• Any potential effect on sensory or quality of the grapes and wine
• Advantages and disadvantages of your proposal
• Reasons and justification of each proposal
• How, through published research, your proposal is sound.
In the final part of this section you will provide a list of clear instructions that will be used by the vineyard manager to govern the management of the vineyard.
Include the following:
• The instructions that you would give to the vineyard manager
• Pruning method and number of count nodes desired
• Canopy management techniques you would use and to what extent
• The decisions that will affect the crop level and vine balance
Give a conclusion outlining the important aspects of your assignment and the decisions you recommend.
• The EIT Online website has a ‘drop box’ for you to submit assignments on line any time before the due date.
• Your assessment will then automatically go through a plagiarism detection programme (Turnitin) where you will be able to retrieve a similarity report from the drop box area within 12 hours of submission. You can review your paper and then re submit if you are unhappy with the amount of similarity reported.
• The final draft submission must be in the drop box by midnight on the last date that they can be handed in.
• If you have great difficulty posting an assignment online - as a last resort you can email it to the lecturer.
Due Dates And Extensions
All assessments are given a due date and must be handed in on or before their due date All assessments are given a due date and must be handed in on or before their due date or they will not be accepted for marking. We strongly recommend you put due dates onto a wall planner and/or into your diary as it is much easier to plan your study. All assessments automatically go through a plagiarism detection programme (Turnitin).
Extensions: No extension will be given on or after the due date. PLAN AHEAD.
Students can apply, prior to the due date, for an extension if there are extenuating circumstances for not being able to meet an assignment deadline.
All requests for extensions must be in writing and emailed to the Programme Coordinator or Lecturer before the due date.
Lateness: Assessment submitted after the due date - 10% per day is deducted from the mark.
Note: This is a deduction of 10% of the final mark.
Student work is not marked if it is handed in more than five days after the due date.
Referencing & Academic Misconduct
• All work submitted must be original and entirely your own work, except where you use ideas, quotations, tables, diagrams or any other material from other writers. In such cases, you must acknowledge the source using the APA referencing style. Please refer to this link for more information.
• References from a variety of sources and types should be used. Wikipedia as a primary reference is not permitted.
• No part of the work submitted may be used as part of any assessed work for any other academic course.
• Academic misconduct includes dishonest behaviour in assessment such as copying, cheating and plagiarism, and all other dishonest practice. EIT will treat academic misconduct seriously. Section 8 of the Academic Regulatory Framework for Quality Assurance and EITs policy, procedures and guidelines list the penalties for academic misconduct. Penalties range from a warning through to suspension from the programme. All instances of academic misconduct are reported. Please refer to this link for more information.
Marks will be allocated for high quality and well-considered coverage of the subject with clear characterizations of the different stages. Your statements should be justified, and your presentation should be concise but with sufficient insight and details. The rubric below will be used to determine the mark allocation.
Table 1: Specific vine details of selected vineyard
Vines per bay
Vine spacing metres
Row spacing metres
Fruiting wire height
Harvest data Vine 1 Vine 2 Vine 3 Vine 4
Bunch number per vine
Yield per vine (kg/vine)
Average bunch weight (g)
Pruning data Vine 1 Vine 2 Vine 3 Vine 4
Count nodes left at pruning - previous season
Number of shoots per vine
Number of watershoots per vine
Number of count shoots per vine
Number of blind buds per vine
Pruning weight per vine (kg/vine)
Number of count nodes left - current season
Marking Schedule: Not present/Poor
(0-4 marks ) Fair (5-6 marks) Good (7-8 marks) Excellent (9-10 marks)
A concise paragraph with clear information on the site and the importance of vine balance in a vineyard
The data was collected and recorded accurately
Calculations are correct
Understanding of the data was correct and referenced
Cleary proposed an appropriate pruning and canopy management
regime based on the information collected from the vineyard.
Clearly laid out the proposal in a logical order. The proposal instructions were easy to understand and highly plausible.
Proposal pros and cons
Advantages and disadvantages of proposal are recognised
and discussed with good understanding and justified reasoning.
Use of References:
Appropriate and comprehensive referencing throughout the document. Sources are cited in the appropriate format
Conclusion – closing statement(s) on the topic are relevant, clear and concise
Writing style – flows and is logical, grammar and spelling
TOTAL MARK (OUT OF 80):