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Spring Vineyard Care: Tips from the Pros

The summer and fall are when most of the action happens in the vineyard as leaves are thinned and grapes ripen on their journey to be turned into wine. But none of that matters if the vines aren’t healthy going into the summer. As “Backyard Vines” columnist Wes Hagen puts it, “Spring is where the vintage is made.” From pruning, knocking the suckers (basal shoots) off the base and trunk of the vines, and replacing vines or trellises, to spraying and protecting the vines from the weather or other risks, spring is not a time home viticulturists can take off. For help understanding the spring workload, we sought the advice of a pro winemaker in the Texas Hill Country and another in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California for their list of spring chores. Eric Weisinger, Winemaker at Signor Vineyards in Fredericksburg, Texas In our region, here in the Texas Hill Country, frost is the biggest threat that spring brings — which is probably the biggest risk for all vineyards unless you’re lucky enough to be in a location that