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Guyot, Goblet and Cordon - Vine-Training Choices at Clos de la Tech

Posted by CM Support
Feb 5, 2014 | Keywords: cordon  goblet  grape vines  guyot  Pinot Noir  pruning  vine-training  vineyards  viticulture  wine  

Vine-training is an ancient practice used to optimize vine balance and fruit quality. Many factors come into play when matching a particular training system to a specific site. Perhaps the most important variables are site-vigor and vine-vigor. Beyond that, differences in elevation, slope and aspect can create unique meso- and micro-climates that warrant the use of different training styles within a single vineyard. At CDLT, we utilize a combination of three different types of training: Guyot, Goblet and Cordon.


Named after a 19th century French scientist, this technique works well for our cooler, lower-vigor vineyards, including Domaine Lois Louise. For each vine, we preserve one or two of the previous year’s shoots (called canes in their second year) and train them along the fruiting wire; in the spring, the new shoots emerge from the internodes. This training system has a relatively low number of buds per vine, which, when maintained in a lower-vigor site, results in optimal internodal spacing and healthy canopy density.  


Literally translated as 'goblet', this ancient method of vine training requires no trellising and results in bushy, goblet-shaped growth. The trunk of the vine is topped with a gnarled lump of old wood, the result of years of spur pruning. Vines trained in this manner are best suited for warmer, drier sites (in cooler areas, their bushy canopy is more susceptible to mildew) with less fertile soil (due to low bud count), such as parts of our Domaine Valeta and Domaine du Docteur Rodgers vineyards.


Like Goblet, this training style also utilizes spur pruning. Though instead of head training, one (or two) permanent branch, or 'cordon', on one side of the vine, is trained along a fruiting wire. The cordon is never pruned away and bears eight to nine two-bud spurs. Cordons have more buds per vine than Goblet and Guyot, which makes Cordon a good fit for the more fertile and slightly high-vigor sites such as Domaine du Docteur Rodgers.

By judiciously using a combination of these three vine-training techniques, the stage is set for producing world class Pinot Noir at Clos de la Tech.