New haircuts aren't always flattering. They draw attention to termite holes, battle scars and barnacles that have accumulated over the years. Vineyard crews tidy up each wild appendage, leaving behind an inch of new growth at the top of each branch that resembles a blunt-cut fingernail. Grapes are produced from wood that is made the previous year, so care is taken with each cut. Pruning activates the plant's hormones, signaling the start of a new season. And because these Old Vine Zinfandels are not irrigated, they're left sleeping until all the newer vines are off and running.

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