Canopy Management

Canopy management is the organisation of the shoots, leaves and fruit of the grapevine plant in order to maximise the quality of the microclimate surrounding them, thus improving quality and yield. It is particularly important in cool-climate areas.

Since the Second World War, technological advances (particularly in vine nutrition and pest control) and the planting of vines on fertile soils have increased problems of vine vigour leading to poor canopy management.

Canopy management in viticulture was first developed in grapevines by Nelson Shaulis (Cornell University), further extended by Alain Carbonneau of the University of Montpellier and Richard Smart, formerly of the Ruakura Agricultural Centre in New Zealand.

Canopy management theory has had considerable influence on New World viticulture, particularly in areas of high vine vigour. Many varied training systems have been developed and are used commercially.