The canopy of a vine is everything that you can see above ground, starting with the trunk and then the cordons, stems, buds, leaves, flowers and fruit. The management of the canopy by the vigneron is critical in order to achieve the best health and vigour possible for the vine, minimise disease and then produce the optimum fruit yield and ripeness.
The size and shape of the canopy are also key factors in determining the amount of energy and light captured by the plant from photosynthesis. The canopy has to be continually managed throughout the season and good pruning and training on the trellis system are key skills in developing a healthy productive vineyard. Where vines are fully managed by hand, the cordons are trained fairly low to the ground so to allow the maximum manageable height of stems and foliage to adsorb the light.