Winegrowers Supplies - Vine training in year 1 and 2
In the first summer: the aim is to train a single shoot up the support cane, ideally a shoot from nearest the original vinewood (scion). The bud furthest from the scion grows first, but this is on a relatively narrow twig so is best removed once a lower bud grows to about 150mm long. In the early stages the young buds/shoots can be damaged by snails and slugs etc, so do not rub shoots off too soon. However, all downward pointing buds should be rubbed off immediately.
While the main shoot is growing, all side shoots should be gently 'snapped/plucked out' (not pinched out like tomatoes). The main shoot should be tied (ideally with raffia) to the support cane at about every 9 inches, else it will not continue to grow well. Don't tie too near the growing tip, always leave at least 4 inches free.
Let the shoot grow to the height of your main wire, say 1.1 metres, at this
height pinch out the growing tip. The shoot will then thicken up and form
the 'stock' for future years (defining 'stock' as a ripened shoot). There is no point in growing a thin 8 foot
shoot which is not thick enough to make a good stock; at the time of
winter pruning the main stock has to be at least pencil
thickness (8mm diameter) at it's end, otherwise it should be cut back to where it is 8mm in diameter,
or back to 2-buds again.
If growth is not sufficient by late-September then pinch out the growing tip anyway, as this helps the shoot to ripen better.
After winter pruning: if the vine has grown well and the stock is at the height of the main wire then the top 3 buds are
allowed to grow (all lower shoots are rubbed off); the highest bud should be above the main training wire, the
others just below; this is because the highest bud never grows as well as the others.
In the following year (in April) the two lower/stronger canes (with say 10 to 12 buds) can be bent over (in opposite directions) to form the two fruiting 'canes' in a 'double-Guyot' system, or where the canes are thinner than 8mm then the lowest cane can be pruned back to 3 buds as a spur which will then provide 2 'replacement canes' for the following year. The other shoot is the 'single-Guyot' fruiting cane.
Any cane left after winter pruning must be at least pencil thickness (8mm diameter).