Definition - What does Canopy mean?

The canopy of a grapevine is the collective parts of the grapevine’s fruit, trunk, shoots, cordons and leaves. It is considered one of the most important aspects of vineyard management because the canopy influences the quantity and quality of the vine’s yields. It is essential for each part to be maintained, arranged and meticulously cared for, and each species of vine requires different canopy care instructions for it to thrive.

WineFrog explains Canopy

One can easily tell if a vine is healthy and balanced by the look and arrangement of the canopy. The shoots should be evenly spaced apart, the leaves pruned to an appropriate level and the fruit growth adequate for the vine. The goal with the canopy arrangement is to provide the most sunlight and to let the wind move through the leaves to prevent diseases like rot and fungi. With proper planting, the vineyard manager will only have minimum work to upkeep a mature canopy but younger canopies will need vine training for the first few years.

The other goal of the canopy is to produce great-looking fruit which is done with vine positioning, pruning of the leaves and maintenance of the shoots. Thinning out and separating the shoots and leaves is necessary to prevent crowding and the formation of vine “curtains” (thick areas where sunlight can’t get through). Managers must keep the canopy balanced - thinned out enough to produce great fruit clusters but not too thin to affect the vigor or health of the vine.

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