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Ancient viticulture curiousity

yesshesaid

A Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
In walking CF in 2019 I was, as always, very interested in the agriculture. The huge old grape vines with no visible trellising were not familiar to me and I've googled this with no result. Can anyone tell me the details of growing these vines? Thank you!
 

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A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
There are a number of different styles of planting and pruning. The bush style is good for low density planting in fairly dry areas but it makes mechanical harvesting difficult. So it is quite labour intensive. This article explains some of the pros and cons of different types of training of vines.
 
In California, many of the “old vines” that are no longer picked were this bush-style. With the advent of mechanical picking and the high cost of manual labor, many have been replaced or go unpicked. 😞. Fortunately, that gives small wine-makers (like me!!!) a chance at free grapes of really high quality for free!
 
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I’m the lucky one! I’ve had the opportunity to make wine with my father, my brother, and my daughter in the same “wine shed” that my father made wine with his father, an immigrant from Madeira. If any pilgrim ends up passing through Sacramento, California, USA, stop by my porch for a sample 🥰
 

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I’m the lucky one! I’ve had the opportunity to make wine with my father, my brother, and my daughter in the same “wine shed” that my father made wine with his father, an immigrant from Madeira. If any pilgrim ends up passing through Sacramento, California, USA, stop by my porch for a sample 🥰
Better be prepared, and get yourself ready with a fountain like the one at Irache. 😃
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
In California, many of the “old vines” that are no longer picked were this bush-style. With the advent of mechanical picking and the high cost of manual labor, many have been replaced or go unpicked. 😞. Fortunately, that gives small wine-makers (like me!!!) a chance at free grapes of really high quality for free!

@Vacajoe and other Californians may be interested in this article on collecting wild figs.
 
Excellent fig article! We love finding abandoned gardens while walking our area, especially ones with fig trees! They are quite expensive to buy, so free ones from the wild are an exceptional treat. Thanks for sharing
 
I gre up in South Africa and, before micro irrigation became the norm, most wine vines were grown as "bushes". I also walked tge CF in 2019 and was fascinated by the size of the vine stumps. Later, I drove through the area and asked a wine producer why he had not changed to trellises or wires, and ye said that his grandfather had planted them and he simply continued the same method. In the Rhone area and in France generally, old vine grapes are called "vielle vigne" and the grapes are generally blended with younger grapes because the older grape wine is a bit tanniny.
 
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Unlike mechanical harvesting, the "Old method" of hand picking generally does not result in small mammals in the grapes. Al least that is what my grape rancher friend tells me.
 
Gracias for the vineyard education. Walking out of Pamplona late September 2021 I hit the Rioja grape harvest right on time. I saw both mechanical harvesters and men hand cutting the huge grape clusters. Coming upon a vineyard where it appeared every other cluster had been cut off and left to rot I asked a picker if they were bad grapes. I got a half hour explanation of vineyard management, all in Spanish. The gist of what I understood was that there were too many grapes so half were discarded to let the remaining clusters concentrate the nutrients. Walking out of Portomarin late this September I was given a huge cluster of white grapes by a man cutting from the vines around his front porch. This is why I keep returning to the Camino. Not for the grapes. For the wonderful people of Spain. Buen Camino
 
In Haro for the Vendemminia a few years ago I was struck that only one or perhaps two bunches were harvested. This after the August pruning where each vine was reduced to a maximum three fruiting shoots. I told my fellow harvesters that around Logrono we would harvest every grape. I was told that that was because around Logrono they don’t take wine making seriously. Apparently it’s only in the Rioja Alta that anyone pays any attention to quality 😉
 
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Gracias for the vineyard education. Walking out of Pamplona late September 2021 I hit the Rioja grape harvest right on time. I saw both mechanical harvesters and men hand cutting the huge grape clusters. Coming upon a vineyard where it appeared every other cluster had been cut off and left to rot I asked a picker if they were bad grapes. I got a half hour explanation of vineyard management, all in Spanish. The gist of what I understood was that there were too many grapes so half were discarded to let the remaining clusters concentrate the nutrients. Walking out of Portomarin late this September I was given a huge cluster of white grapes by a man cutting from the vines around his front porch. This is why I keep returning to the Camino. Not for the grapes. For the wonderful people of Spain. Buen Camino
Thank you, I wondered about this
 
Gracias for the vineyard education. Walking out of Pamplona late September 2021 I hit the Rioja grape harvest right on time. I saw both mechanical harvesters and men hand cutting the huge grape clusters. Coming upon a vineyard where it appeared every other cluster had been cut off and left to rot I asked a picker if they were bad grapes. I got a half hour explanation of vineyard management, all in Spanish. The gist of what I understood was that there were too many grapes so half were discarded to let the remaining clusters concentrate the nutrients. Walking out of Portomarin late this September I was given a huge cluster of white grapes by a man cutting from the vines around his front porch. This is why I keep returning to the Camino. Not for the grapes. For the wonderful people of Spain. Buen Camino
Very true. Walking the Camino, and meeting all the people, is right at the top of my life memories. I am now 74. Anyone reading this who has not done it - Go as soon as you can!
 
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I recently walked through the Douro Valley on the Torres/Geira and saw no harvesting machines whatever. All done by hand, with plastic buckets on the head instead of the woven straw baskets. Someone told me that it is prohibited to use machinery in the Douro, not sure if that is true. But I also saw a fair amount of hand picking at other points along the route, never a machine.
 

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