Pruning the vines

When the vines get some rest, in winter, it is time to trim them. Without pruning, the vine would not cease to grow and would put all its energy to make wood instead of grapes … Suffice to say that pruning is essential for obtaining good quality of grapes and thus, wine. The size of the winter prepares the future harvest.

La taille des vignes - Domaine des Peyre

Vines pruning – Domaine des Peyre

Quality of pruning determines the quality of wine
By cutting, we orientate the qualitative level of the grapes at first and thus, the wine we will produce from these grapes: the pruning can limit the growth of the vine, but also the development of some branches that will hold the grapes. We need almost two years to prepare the quality of the harvest because only the buds of the branches of the previous year will give fruit. At Domaine des Peyre, we started pruning at the end of December, first on the most late varieties (Carignan and Mourvèdre) to continue with the Syrah and Grenache.

Cordon de Royat pruning
All our plots are cut with a technique called « Cordon deRoyat« : a short pruning much used in our Mediterranean vineyards. This size mode limits the production of grapes compared with a size such as « Guyot« ; working on the high level of quality of our wines, we aim to control production on relatively low yields in order to have fewer grapes per vine and thus promote the concentration of sugars on the few clusters present. To get there, we choose to reduce the number of buds left on each strain.

On the vines Protected Designation of Origin Luberon and Ventoux, we leave 4-5 spurs with 2 eyes in order to limit the production of grapes while on those in Protected Geographical Indication Mediterranean, we leave 6-7 spurs with 2 eyes, tolerated yields being higher.

Planting grass to improve the quality of the grapes
Beyond the quality of the cut to better control the force of our vineyards, we also plant grass on certain plots. Engaged in competition with vines, this weed modulates the mineral supply of vines and in fact, allows a reduction in yields, which in turn improves the quality of the grapes. However, we chose the specific grass species so that this weed is not harmful to the vine.

Old centenarian Carignan
Some of our vines are over 80 years old and, two years ago, we began to take winter pruning or dry size to lower the height of the stem. The example of our old Carignan is striking with their significant height in the middle of the other parcels. We have kept them as fossils because the grapes they produce is enhanced with time; but care must be taken to fight against their height by lowering little by little by the appropriate size.
This dry size job starts in winter and continues in the spring with green pruning also called budding. Green pruning helps prepare winter pruning leaving the buds that will be the future spurs.

Young plants are pampered

La taille de formation - Domaine des Peyre

© Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin

 

We started the size of our one year plantiers to form the beginning of what is called the training size.
We leave two eyes the first winter. Then we leave the strongest and most straight branch in the second year and finally we train the vine arm lthe ast year.
The weather promises to be a little more gentle early April with colder mornings but beautiful sunny afternoon. That let us hope the beginning of bud soon, that is to say, the growth of small buds and small leaves.
What makes you want to take a ride every day between vines, almond trees, cherry trees and flowering thyme and wait for partridges, under the eye of raptors identifying their future prey.

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