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ThirtyFifty - Hens

Viticultre Overview with Siobhan Harnett from Cloudy Bay


Sioban Harnett is viticulturist at Cloudy Bay, the iconic New Zealand winery. While there are more words spoken about grapes and winemaking, viticulture is the power house of industry.

We talk about the different jobs of a viticulturist throughout the growing season including spraying, frost protection and what to look for when deciding to pick.

Canopy management is about manipulating the vine into an odd and artifical shape in order to encourage even ripeness and control. The vine is trained up onto a wire to form a canopy about 2.2 metres high and then trimmed at the top and sides. The vines can be trimmed at different thicknesses into a thick hedge or fine cover of leaves, depending on the climate. In Marlborough where humidity levels are low and sunlight levels high, they aim for an open, thin canopy. Without a canopy flavours and phenolics can develop too quickly.

The trellising system used at Cloudy Bay is VSP - Vertical Shoot Position - with one upward canopy growth or divided in half - the Scott Henry method which was popular in the mid 1990's.

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