The importance of a sound trellising system, writes Tom Reid at Vine-Works.
The importance of the vineyard trellising system is often overlooked. Instead, flashy new pieces of machinery regularly take the limelight. However, to manage your vineyard to its full potential an effective trellising system is essential.
There are a great number of alternative trellising systems used worldwide, some of which were trialled in the early years of UK viticulture (Geneva Double Curtain anyone?). As an industry though, we have now predominately accepted the modern vertical shoot positioning (VSP) trellising system as our system of choice. The VSP system allows us to easily manage each vine’s canopy and fruiting area – improving yields and fruit quality. While also aiding the passage of machinery and improving the efficacy of spray applications. VSP can also be easily adapted to suit the needs of a specific site. For example, should you wish to train your vines to a Pendlebogen system or lay down extra canes, additional fruiting wires can be easily installed.
Vine-Works Ltd has over a decade of experience installing and working with trellising systems in the UK. We understand that the trellising system is an asset that needs to last the lifetime of the vineyard. It must also be suitable for any future changes in the industry. It is likely mechanisation will soon take on a more prominent role in vineyard management. For mechanisation to be effective, robust trellising systems will need to be precisely installed. Our trellising systems use only the highest quality materials and are installed by skilled trellising specialists with many years’ experience.
The structural integrity of your trellising begins with your post choice. Posts with a dimpled surface pattern, (such as Hadley’s patented UltraSteel posts) come into contact with more earth, increasing stability in the ground. Being hot-dipped in zinc galvanise after formation provides an additional hard, durable protective coating and ensures any exposed edges from manufacturing processes are also protected.
Ensuring you have the correct size anchor for your site’s unique soil type and composition is paramount to strengthening your whole trellising system. For instance, Gripple produce different size apex anchors to suit all environments or you may prefer to use screw anchors in heavy clay soils.
To train your vines in the most efficient manner, suitable vineyard wire is required. Specifically manufactured for the viticulture sector, vineyard wire is ideally galvanised with Alu-Zinc, (like your posts) to provide extra resistance against corrosion. Fruiting wire in particular provides integral support for the whole trellising system. The tension should be taut, but not to the point of creating stress on the posts or risking snapping if accidentally clipped by machinery.
Whilst these products are the main components of your strong trellising system, it’s important to pay close attention to quality for all other trellising items. For example, your hangers and chains should also be galvanised and sufficiently sturdy enough to support your foliage wires and canopy at the height of the season. By choosing your trellising products wisely, you’ll give your vines the best start in life and ensure your trellising system remains strong and secure for many years to come.