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Trials conducted in warm, irrigated Australian vineyards with Sultana and a range of traditional and new wine grape varieties over 10 seasons have shown that minimal pruning of cordon trained vines can control vine shape and vigour and maintain or increase production.
Traditional pruning not only appears to be unnecessary, but also leads to vigorous shoot growth. By contrast, MPCT vines have more but smaller shoots with fewer and closer nodes, and a smaller quantity of one-year-old wood.
Retention of wood from season to season is limited by the abscission of immature terminal shoot growth in autumn, in contrast with control vines which require severe pruning. MPCT vines carry an increased number of exposed bunches, each with a reduced number of small berries.
For wine grape production, the MPCT system in combination with mechanical harvesting provides an effective system of management, reducing vigour, lowering costs and maximising production of quality fruit.
The system has been adopted commercially not only in warm irrigated vineyards but also for vigorous vines in cooler regions used for quality wine production.
The Role of Minimal Pruning of Cordon Trained Vines (MPCT) in Canopy Management and its adoption in Australia Viticulture
1987, The Australian Grapegrower and Winemaker, month 4, pages 7-11