The pruning of our vines is a crucial moment in the year as we prepare them for the next harvest. Four months of work begin in January for the farm workers. Indeed, during this period, the vine is in vegetative rest; in a state of "dormancy". The leaves have fallen and the circulation of the sap is interrupted; this is the ideal time to prune the vine. Generally speaking, if the vine is pruned late, it will bud* later, thus limiting the risks of spring frost.
At the domain, we practice mostly the cordon de Royat pruning (photo 1). For this pruning we keep 2 arms of the vine, each with 2 to 3 spurs with 2 buds. This pruning method is particularly popular in the South of France. Combined with a trellis with lifting wires, allowing to raise the vegetation and thus to limit the accumulation of foliage on the area of the bunches, this method allows a good aeration and exposure to the sun of the grapes, resulting in homogeneous maturities.
Some of our plots are also gobelet pruned (photo 2). The vines are low and grow without being tied, contrary to the cordon de Royat. For this pruning, it is necessary to choose between 2 and 4 spurs, distributed in candle, which will carry each 2 or 3 buds, which will give the fruits of the year. This pruning method is traditionally used in the North of the Rhone Valley, because it gives the vines good resistance against wind and drought (due to the coolness of the soil during the day) and also allows the heat of the soil to be released at night. This allows us to obtain the right balance.
But why prune the vines every year?
Pruning allows to limit the natural development of the vine and to regulate the quantity of grapes. The bunches produced will have a better concentration and will be more qualitative. Pruning contributes to the quality of the harvest, producing beautiful, juicy and aromatic bunches for a beautiful wine tasting!
*budding of the vine = start of the vine in spring, after the dormant phase