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…


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