Lake County Pruning School


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Students attending Lake County Pruning School. Logo sign on post

Close up of vine being inspectedJett pruning vine


Lake County Pruning School is an immersive training program presented by Lake County Winegrape Commission and delivered by Simonit & Sirch.

Vine Master Pruners Jacopo Miolo and Jett Johansson will share knowledge about grapevine sap flow and teach innovative pruning techniques to foster grapevine health, longevity, and sustainability of the vineyard.

Four fundamental principles applicable to all grapevine training systems will be covered in depth:

  1. CONTROLLED BRANCHING – Drive the development while respecting the vine’s organic growth.
  2. VASCULAR FLOW – Separate desiccated areas from the main vascular flow and ensure continuity of the sap flow through the structure of the plant.
  3. SMALL CUTS & CROWN BUDS – Reduce the surface area of the exposed wound and lessen the risk of wood disease.
  4. PROTECTIVE SPARE WOOD – Reduce desiccation of the vine.

In response to participant feedback, Lake County Pruning School is offering a new intermediate course this year that builds on the principles learned in the introductory course with an emphasis on pruning theory and techniques for cane systems and for young vineyards.

Who Should Attend

Lake County Pruning School is designed for vineyard owners, vineyard supervisors and crew leaders, and experienced vineyard workers. Each class is limited to 15 participants, which enables more one-on-one learning and an opportunity to exchange ideas and techniques with others in the cohort. Classes are offered in English and in Spanish.

Eligibility Requirements for Introduction Course

A minimum of three years of pruning experience in commercial ag production is required to attend. A handful of spaces will be made available for commercial winemakers and university-level viticulture/enology students.

Eligibility Requirements for Intermediate Course

To be eligible to apply, applicant must have completed the Introduction to Simonit & Sirch’s Pruning Method and have at least five years of pruning experience in commercial ag production.

John Szabo pruning with Jacopo Miolo observing

John Szabo MS, Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power

John Szabo attended Cohort 1 of Lake County Pruning School on December 5 & December 6, 2022. After attending, he provided the following review:

“The most critical vineyard action takes place in the dormant season: pruning. Get it wrong, and your production drops at best. At worst, you shorten the life of a vine, compromise quality, and cause more work in the summer. Jacopo Miolo and Jett Johansson of Simonit and Sirch Vine Master Pruning Academy teach Northern California growers (and me) how to prune for quality and vine longevity in the radically volcanic soils of beautiful Lake County, on the slopes of the Mt Konocti Volcano, allowing the vine to do what it wants to do (grow), maintain sap flow, and reduce wood disease (small cuts), are the pillars of the strategy. Such a critical moment in the wine growers’ calendar. If you’re not thinking of this, you’ll lose money (replanting before necessary), and kill quality.”

Press Releases about Lake County Pruning School

Lake County Winegrape Commission Announces Second Year of Pruning School After First Year Sold Out
Lake County Winegrape Commission Awarded Grant Supporting Pruning School
FELCO Teams Up With Lake County Winegrape Commission to Sponsor Forthcoming Pruning School
Lake County Winegrape Commission Announces Launch of Lake County Pruning School by Simonit & Sirch


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Coffee service provided by Lake County Pruning School Affiliate Sponsor

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