Shenandoah Valley of CaliforniaCharles Spinetta Winery and Wildlife Art Gallery
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_____April harbors warm nights, which ignite the spark of the growing season, and we hustle to keep up. Tying up vines makes them strong and uniform -- qualities which make the expectation for a productive life of over one hundred years a reality. We secure the vines against the stakes in relation to our vicious southern prevailing winds. Uniform vines are easy to pick and maintain, and allow for even application of chemicals.

_____This three year old Chenin Blanc vine (a replant) was tied last year with green vinyl tape. Ag-Tyes (tm) kink and fall apart if cinched down that small, and zip ties will girdle and bind the bark. The trunk will expand rapidly as it grows and may require more permanent ties by the end of this season.
A happy little grapevine!
_____We've selected our hardware based on generations of experience and our personal preference. We've borrowed materials from other industries and developed a few tricks of our own along the way. You've got to know how to dress!
1. Ag-Tyes can be opened as the trunk expands or linked to secure fat vines.
2. We've no sundials, so Jim wears a bulletproof watch.
3. Only the finest in hand pruners -- fancy Swedish ones are worth it.
4. Zip ties secure the topmost section (crown) of our vines. We use a UV resistant product that any electronic engineer would recognize immediately.
5. We use a green vinyl tape that's very similar to the product used with home tomato plants. Ours is much heavier and about one inch wide. Tape is used with young vines and on the bottom half of medium-size established vines.
6. A finger knife is a shop blade that slices through vinyl tape like butter.
All the stuff we use!
How-to tie up! LEFT: The vinyl tape gently holds the base against the stake to counteract the vine's tendency to bough. We won't need a tie here next year because the base will solidify this season. Ag-Tyes in the middle and near the top support the weight of the arms that will debut this season. A zip tie on top bears the weight of the "head."

RIGHT Younger vines bud out faster than older vines, and are more susceptible to frost. This six year old vine has more active buds and developing leaves than its old timer neighbors. The vines will grow at a more even rate after a month.
A little bit more...
Old Timer needs ties! LEFT: Vines have a different cell structure than trees, and our vineyard won't be freestanding until the posts rust away. The plants are "bonsaiied" -- like ornamentals. A few Ag-Tyes will secure the older vines to the stakes.

RIGHT: Top buds erupt first, and canes will shoot out in the direction that the buds point. The top buds initiate a process known as "apical dominance" that gives preference to the topmost canes and prevents formation of "
suckers" (i.e. buds/canes near the base of the trunk).
Just budding out!
Amador County
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Charles Spinetta Winery, Spinetta Family Vineyards, Zinetta, and the CSW Logo are registered trademarks of Charles J. Spinetta. Unless otherwise specified, all images and copy contained within the domain are Copyright 1984-2019 Charles J. Spinetta. All rights reserved. Charles Spinetta Winery and Wildlife Art Gallery 12557 Steiner Road, Plymouth, California 95669, USA, telephone: (209) 245-3384, facsimile: (209) 245-3386