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Photosynthesis is the process of plants using the energy of the sunlight to convert carbon dioxide from the air into sugars, starches, and other high-energy carbohydrates that it stores. Oxygen is released in the process. Similarly, when we eat plants and other foods, our bodies burn the energy by allowing it to combine with oxygen from the air. This produces carbon dioxide.

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Harvesting the Sun

Harvesting the Sun

Douglas Gayeton for Lexicon of Sustainability

Harvesting the Sun

Location: Medlock Ames Winery, Healdsburg, CA

Featuring: Ames Morison, Agustin and Royal

By capturing sunlight, grape leaves convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to flavors in the fruit.

1. Shoot positioning

CANOPY MANAGEMENT
A range if viticultural techniques performed to create an optimal growing environment.

2. Shoot thinning

Ames and Agustin use their artisanal tools (hands) and knowledge (how to turn sunlight into flavors) to carefully guide the growth of these vines and obtain the richest possible yield. The two men have worked together for over ten years. Ames consults with Agustin on every vineyard decision.

MERLOT (Jefferson clone)
3. Cluster trimming
4. Cluster positioning
5. This shoot is a “sucker” and must be removed
6. Remove excess leaves

GOOD CANOPY MANAGEMENT MAXIMIZES PHOTOSYNTHESIS
1+2: Vines are essentially forest plants competing for sunlight. They can be managed to encourage balanced growth.
3+4: Cluster thinning and positioning prevent overcrowding in the canopy.
5: “Suckers” grow directly from the trunk, cause crowding and shading, rarely produce fruit and must be removed.
6: It takes 18 leaves to ripen a cluster; removing excess leaves allows sunlight which helps to limit disease.

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