In an Australian summer this month, folk were taking the wings off pinot noir bunches as a yield and quality control measure.
This is hand of Lindsay McCall of Paringa Estate in the Mornington Peninsula showing me what these wings are. One, or two, ‘side branches’ may grow off the base of the main stem of the pinot noir bunch. This bunch is going through veraison, where the grapes change colour, and we can see that the wing he’s just about to remove is ripening considerably behind the rest of the bunch. Removing it drops the yield a little and allows the rest of the bunch to ripen more homogenously.