In earlier times, the horizontal cordon method was common for training grapes on house façades. Foliage and fruit grow from one or two horizontal, strictly trained arms or cordons. Unilateral cordons (1 angle) and bilateral cordons (T-shape) are possible; the vertical main trunk usually remains without foliage.
The cordon tradition was passed down as "Thomery-Cordon" from a French village of the same name near Fontainebleau / Paris. Outstanding table grapes were grown in this way from quality grapevines. The photos shown here were taken mostly in the east German region of Saale-Unstrut.
Horizontal bands usually 70 - 120 cm height, narrower strips are greened with garlands. The optimal length for a unilateral cordon used to be 1.2 m in Thomery, or 2.4 m for a bilateral cordon. For contemporary grafted and vigorous vines, these can be longer; however for covering very extensive areas, it is best to train several vines. If at all possible, the two arms of a bilateral cordon should be of the same length. The minimal distance above the ground is about 0.5 m, but heights of 5 - 6 m are possible.
Wire rope systems and wooden espaliers. Usually a vertical wire rope to guide the vine upwards, and 2 - 4 horizontal wire ropes (spaced 25 - 35 cm apart). The cordons or arms are tied to the lowest wire rope; from there the new shoots grow each year into to several superimposed tversand interlock with their tendrils. Shoots which are not entangled with others are either tucked behind the wires or tied to them.
For the training procedure, refer to the illustrations below. On the horizontal arms or cordons, vertical shoot positions (VSP) spaced about 15 - 20 cm apart are developed. If these VPS are rigorously developed from the upper side of the cordon (from every 2nd or 4th bud), the cordon will be more productive and longer-living, because there are no sap flow obstructions in one half of the arm cross-section. Only cordon extensions are usually trained from buds on the lower side of the cordon.