As the shoots begin to emerge, a series of tasks known as summer maintenance begins:
TYING-UP: involves attaching the vine shoots to the supporting wires.
Tying-up takes place just after pruning, in early April. The shoots are attached to the supporting wires, using paper-covered wire or some other biodegradable material.
This is done by hand and requires to be speed and precise.
Desuckering: refers to the removal of non-fruitful shoots.
Desuckering takes place in mid-May. It consists of removing any non-fruitful buds growing on old wood that might divert sap away from the main buds.
Lifting the wires: ready for the next task which is trellising.
When the branches are 50 centimetres long (late May), they must be raised and contained between wires running some 30 centimetres above the main support wires.
Trellising: involves separating out the branches, ordering and containing them between wires.
Trellising, which is done in June, prevents the leaves from crowding each other, allowing maximum light penetration and encouraging air circulation which prevents them from rotting.
Pinching back: prevents the vine from producing too many branches and too much foliage at the expense of fruit.
Pinching back is part of “summer pruning”.
It commences in late-June or early July, before or after flowering, and continues until harvesting. It is performed at least twice and sometimes as many as four times in a season.