We grow our grapes at two locations at Rosemoor; on metal arches in the potager and trained on wires on the wall in the main veg. garden. They have been chosen for their disease resistance and suitability for the south-west climate. The cultivars that have done well despite our wet summers are Vitis 'Triomphe d'Alsace' and V. 'Boskoop Glory' AGM in the potager; V. 'Phönix' and V. 'Kempsey Black' in the veg. garden. These are dual purpose cultivars - both wine and dessert types.
There are a number of different methods for training grapes but the simplest and the one we use at Rosemoor is variations on the single and double cordon. This entails creating a single or double stem as a permanent framework and only pruning the annual growth back to 2 leaves beyond the flowers or to 5 leaves if no flowers are present. In the winter these shoots are pruned back to one bud and then the cycle starts all over again the following year.
This work is normally carried out from mid-June to mid-July but it does depend on the season and how much growth the vines have made. You need at least 3-4 leaves beyond the flowers or “5 leaves”.
We have now completed our main summer prune. Any subsequent growth will be pruned back to one bud just to keep the vines tidy.