There are two main trellising system categories: divided and single canopy. Jerry Watson, a grape grower and owner of Austin County Vineyards in Cat Spring, Texas, developed the divided canopy “Watson System” in 2002 to solve some issues he was having with bunch rot management and harvest inefficiency in his ‘Blanc Du Bois’ and ‘Lenoir’ vineyards. By adding a series of cross arms and catch wires to his high wire system, Jerry was able to improve spray penetration to the fruit zone and increase picking efficiency at harvest. The Watson hardware and wires separate clusters from the canopy foliage and limit cluster touching compared to a standard, single high wire system. The Watson system has since been employed in the Southeastern U.S. and can be found as far west as California. The Watson system is currently used for training hybrid and trailing grape cultivars such as, but not limited to, ‘Blanc du Bois’, ‘Norton’, ‘Lenoir’, ‘Lomanto’, ‘Crimson Cabernet’, and ‘Villard blanc’. A high wire-trained vineyard, such as those planted with ‘Chambourcin’, ‘Seyval blanc’, ‘Vidal blanc’, ‘Traminette’, and other cultivars could be retrofitted to Watson training with success. Future research will evaluate hybrid and Vitis vinifera cultivars that have yet to be evaluated for training on the Watson system.
Status and Revision History
Published on Apr 27, 2020