At our estate, we use the single Guyot pruning and training system. Thus, we leave one cane on each vine with 6 buds and one spur with 2 buds below the cane. This type of pruning means the vines are cut back so the stocks don’t grow too high and will remain aligned in rows. Pruning lengthens the life of a vineyard and controls yield.
Seasonal workers then burn the wood cut while pruning.
When the weather allows, we drive through the vineyards with a straddle tractor to makes holes to replace any dead vines. This allows us to plant young plants. It’s important to renew the vineyard each year little by little to reduce the number of missing vines.
Damaged stakes and wires are also replaced and repaired for proper training in good conditions the next season.
We’ve been working the soil at the estate for years by subsoiling (deep ploughing to loosen the soil) and then blazing (surface ploughing to stimulate the soil). We use organic soil conditioners to mitigate certain deficiencies in the vines.
Then, the canes which were left during pruning are tied down.
The vines begin to grow and then we must disbud. This simply means pruning the buds in the worst positions. The vines then receive more air and the grapes are better nourished. We find this technique enhances the quality of the wine.
In order to protect the vines from cryptogamic diseases (fungi), we carry out phytosanitary treatments. At our estate, we practice supervised control which consists of intervening only when truly necessary.
As the vines continue to grow, we begin lifting the wires and stake the vines to control their growth. The branches tend to fall and break meaning we must work quickly to arrange the shoots in rows as they grow.
And that’s when trimming begins. We cut any branches that are too long to ventilate the rows.
As the grapes get fatter, they need sun for optimal maturity. We then remove the leaves on one side (the eastern side) on plots reserved for bottled wine sales. This technique ventilates the rows to reduce the risks of stem rot and expose the grapes to the sun.
Once all the green pruning is done and the treatments have finished, we bottle the prior year’s vintage and prepare for harvest.