Date : 21 February 2020


Spanish and French vineyards are currently showing a decrease in productivity and longevity of their vines.

Poor pruning practices could lead to contamination by wood diseases, reduced production and a shorter life for the vineyard.

The VITES QUALITAS project consortium aims to analyse the effect of different pruning techniques on the viability and longevity of the vineyard by comparing them on both sides of the border.

At present, the POCTEFA region has a significant area of vineyard cultivation. In recent years this area has been reduced in both France and Spain, accompanied by a decline in productivity. This has led to an increase in production costs and therefore a decrease in competitivity.Pests and diseases have an impact on grape production both in terms of quantity and quality but also compromise the longevity of the vines. In recent years, the sector has been experiencing a significant loss of yield and longevity in vineyards, coinciding with an increase in the incidence of grapevine wood diseases. 

Figure 1: Example of one of the interventions

of the pruning trials on young vines

It is common to see vineyards that are 25 years old, with a high percentage of unproductive plants, and vineyards that are over 50 years old with a lower incidence. At present, the lack of training for pruners, the need to reduce production costs and the use of training systems in which it is not permitted to lengthen the vines, have contributed to the non-respect of the basic principles of pruning: respecting the flow of sap, making small wounds, and allowing the plants to grow in an orderly manner. Pruning without respecting the flow of sap could make vines more susceptible to wood diseases, and large cuts to reduce the risk of budding in the spring and trimming to avoid elongation of the vines could lead to increased contamination of the vines due to larger wounds.

It is possible that a vine pruned according to the principles of respect for the flow of sap would lead to greater growth (greater biomass), productivity and greater longevity. In the POCTEFA area there is the challenge of boosting innovation to improve the competitiveness and quality of life of the territory. For this reason, within the framework of the project, different ways of approaching pruning (fundamental in the growth and good development of the plant) have been put into practice at different times in its cycle to try to verify the premises set out in the proposal.

Figure 2: Example of one of the interventions

of the pruning trials on adult vines