Vineyard pruning update

by / Thursday, 07 April 2016 / Published in Uncategorized
  • Vines have undergone winter pruning and are now lying dormant for the winter. Vineyard Manager Duncan McNeill gives us an overview of our current pruning techniques on Denbies Estate:

“There are two main themes to our pruning, which have been developed over the last few years:

  • Pruning for quality as opposed to high yield
  • Pruning the vines ‘gently’ so as to prolong their productive lifespan, and to allow them to physically mature in stature which adds to the complexity of the wine.

Yield vs quality;

Many vineyards in the UK prune to a ‘cane replacement’ system, where two fruit bearing canes are retained on the vine every year. This is very much a ‘New World’ practice, used in places where the vines are often drip irrigated AND the summer temperatures are very warm.

At Denbies we prune to ‘cane replacement’ but only retain 1 fruiting cane on the vines. This is more akin to the practices in France, Spain, Italy and Germany, where drip irrigation is used far less often and yields are regulated. The reason for pruning to 1 fruiting cane at Denbies is that I have found that this practice offers the best balance of (i) Yield consistency and (ii) fruit quality.

Previously where vines were pruned to 2 canes there had been years where very high yields were produced, but in out shorter growing season the sugar accumulation (and flavour development) was marginal.

By pruning to 1 cane the energy that the vine generates via photosynthesis is distributed to the following organs within the plant:

  • Fruit
  • Shoots & leaves
  • Trunk (for expansion)
  • Roots (for expansion)

When maximising the yield via pruning to 2 canes, there is only enough energy generated for fruit and foliage – and nothing left for trunk and roots. This is short termist management and will not lead to longevity of the vines OR improved fruit quality with age.

Pruning ‘Gently’:

A less aggressive system of pruning has been resurrected by two Italian vine growers, and is rapidly spreading across Europe. It was originally developed in France in the early 1900’s, but became forgotten – only to now be re-introduced. It is known as ‘Preparatora D’uva’ which translated into English as Gentle Pruning.

Essentially, pruning cuts (wounds) to the vine are kept as small as possible, and made only to young wood rather than to older more established parts of the vine.

By pruning ‘gently’ we can prolong the life of the vines and improve the quality of the fruit as the vines mature in age and physical size.



To Our Valued Customers

In accordance with current government guidelines,  The Hatch on the Lawn takeaway refreshments and the Wine and Gift Shop (which operates an off-sales licence) are permitted to remain open during the current lockdown.  

Denbies Online Shop is also open for deliveries and click & collect.

All areas open to the public at this time are fully COVID compliant and risk assessments have been independently verified.


If you have made a reservation which may be cancelled due to current government guidelines, you will be contacted via e-mail by Denbies Events Team.  Reception will be closed, therefore the telephones will not be monitored

Please follow government guidelines at all times - information here

Unfortunately due to the current government guidelines, the main visitor centre has to remain closed. As the Denbies toilet facilities are located within the building, they are not classed as public toilets and therefore must remain closed. 

Denbies operates an open access policy for visitor to make use of the vineyard for recreational purposes. If anyone has any concerns regarding the limited facilities at this time, we are updating the website regularly and also communicating via email to visitors who have signed up on our website.

Thank you for your consideration and patience at this time.

During this time the following will be open;

The Hatch on the Lawn (located at the front of the building)


Daily 10am - 3pm

Saturday & Sunday 10am - 4pm



Denbies Wine & Gift Shop

Daily 11am - 2pm

Saturday & Sunday 10am - 4pm

20% Off all wine purchases 6+ bottles/mixed case applies

On-line Shop delivery

Last Orders for Click and Collect  10am - 3pm

20% Off all wine purchases 6+ bottles/mixed case applies

On-line Gifts & Vouchers

Monetary e-vouchers ◊E-Gift Experiences

Apologies - we are unable to respond to phone enquiries during this period of time.  Please visit the website for future reservations.  For amends to existing reservations ONLY, please email [email protected]  We are only able to offer limited response at this time.

Please click here & visit our online shop for more information

Please continue to our website for information and visiting the estate.
Or click here and sign up to our newsletter to receive our latest news and updates for when we will reopen.