Already in February and too late now for New Year greetings ! Everyone has expressed their wishes for good health with love and joy and some, perhaps more than others, for a grand grape harvest. This harvest which means so much to us, vinified and bottled with pride; this harvest which needs to be anticipated now and which, depending on the domain, can keep us busy from November to March with..... pruning.
Pruning is one of the vital stages in the development of a vintage, a task which may appear simple but which in fact requires not only training but in particular, experience.
When the vine needs attention, weather conditions may not always be right so it is important to take care that it will not suffer any harmful effects; pruning is a lesson in life, one that teaches us how to respect the vine.
It is necessary to recognize the differences of each vine plant and assess its age, its past, illness or accident endured; it needs to be nurtured depending on its growth potential and we have to know what must be done for its future benefit in the case of any weak plant.
We must never be discouraged by the vicissitudes of the vine and it is also important to be able to consider in the short term, how the pruning is going to effect the vegetation of the season.
Pruning has to take into account the structure of the vine plant, the disbudding, the trellising and the yield required: when a branch is severed by the secateur the centre of the wood is green under what seems to be lifeless, brown bark and in Spring the sap will rise allowing all the little buds to bloom – this magical moment in the growth cycle.
Even if it may be hard, work well and I wish you all a great vintage for 2014.