Thursday, April 27, 2006

Replacement vines

Every autumn dead or dying vines are marked and later removed to prevent disease spreading through the vineyard. April is the month for planting replacements. I buy ready-to-plant one-year-old vines from the pépinière Guillaume in the Haute-Saône. The vines pictured are Pinot Noir (clone 777) grafted onto an American rootstock (101.14). The graft union is covered in paraffin wax to prevent it drying out, and a steel hoop is placed over the newly planted vine to protect it during ploughing.

Leaves are starting to appear on the mature vines. I am nervously checking the weather forecast; a frost at this stage would be very bad news. If the temperature drops slightly below freezing the vegetation is destroyed and the quantity of harvest significantly reduced. I am worried about Sunday morning… -2ºC forecast…

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Pruning completed

At last the winter pruning is complete and the vines are all ready for spring to arrive.

In this bare state the vineyards are perhaps not at their most beautiful, but after a long winter's work the sense of order is very satisfying. It won't last long; the buds are starting to swell and shoots will soon be growing...