This measure (also leaf pruning, summer pruning) in the vineyard is carried out several times if necessary. A limited number of leaves are removed from the grape zone. The measure is recommended for short-shooted, densely-leaved grape varieties with compact, densely-berried grapes and thin berry skins, for example Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer, Kerner, Müller-Thurgau and Scheurebe (seedling 88). Defoliation favours air circulation in the grape zone, so that the grapes dry much faster after rain. This protects the ripening fruit from premature botrytis attack. Defoliation begins two to three weeks after flowering, but not too many leaves should be removed, because until the véraison (start of ripening) the green berries are still at high risk of sunburn.
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