For three seasons I have had a study going on how grapevines respond to producing a crop in the season after they were planted. In 2013 I planted three cultivars — Blanc du bois, Villard blanc, and Miss blanc. In that first season I was able to get them trained onto the cordon wire (single wire high curtain system). In season two I had three different treatments: removal of blooms, removal of fruit at veraison, and harvested fruit. In season three, all vines were harvested (some even going to produce a commercial product, but that is a discussion for a later post) and today I measured trunk calipers. I have not analyzed the data yet, but I will look at cultivar and treatment effects on vine trunk size. Below is a photo of the process:
I have a little more data to collect and then I will be able to start analyzing the data and writing up the results. This study was also done in Oklahoma before I moved to Mississippi, only with different cultivars. It will be interesting to see how the results compare. Growing grapes is expensive and growers need to start recovering expenses quickly. If grapes can be harvested starting one year earlier then the time to recover initial capital outlay will be shortened. However, we need to make sure that has no lasting impact on vine health, thus this study. Since I couldn’t find any other studies like it in the literature I decided to answer the question myself. And soon, I will find out the results. It is exciting!