Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Pruning Vines for Loire Valley Wines

The snow is gradually starting to thaw and the pruning teams are back in the vines with their secateurs powered by compressed air. The tractor has been through first to trim the tops off the vines leaving amazing patterns in the snow.
The predominant method of pruning vines in this region of France is the single Guyot method. A cane from the previous years growth is selected. This is pruned to 8 nodes which will be tied down horizontally and produce the vertical shoots for this years growth.
A 'spur' is also selected and pruned to 2 nodes, these will produce shoots to be used as next years canes. Ideally the spur should be close to the head of the vine trunk and positioned along the line of the row to maximise plant 'energy' and trellis space and minimise damage from tractors.
Once last years vertical shoots have been cut from the main trunk the next team follows to pull out the shoots from the wires. These are then laid out in the middle of every other row before being mulched by a tractor. The mulch is part barrier against weeds and also replaces the nutrients lost in the growing process.Interested in coming on a 1 day Introduction to Viticulture Course? Please email resv@lagrandemaison.net for further details of our Vineyard Stay Courses for 2009.

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