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Training New Vines and Bringing Up Tannins: Wine Wizard

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Nip in the bud? I purchased and planted a few Nero d’Avola vines last December and have been carefully taking care of them ever since. I read that in order for the vines to grow healthy root systems, I should remove the first buds. I am a bit wary, however, as I was under the impression that plants needed their leaves in order to strengthen their roots. How should I proceed? Mike Gatt Malta, Europe Hey, finally a viticulture question for the Wine Wizard after all these years! I must also applaud you for choosing such a wonderful and unappreciated grape varietal. Though I have a natural habit of rooting for viticultural underdogs (which the more esoteric types from Italy certainly are in the United States) I do have to say I’ve tasted some pretty good Nero d’Avola wines and think you can expect good things from your budding vineyard. You’re right that the first priority for a baby vine is to grow a strong root system. You never want to force a year-old (or even a two-year-old) grape vine