While nature seems to be dazed by winter frosts, our vineyard are alive with skillful and precise hands. It’s pruning time, a crucial moment in the life cycle of the vine that impacts the quality of the grapes, and thus that of our wines.
Driven by our desire to transmit healthy and longstanding vines to future generations, we’ve been evolving the way we prune. With the advice of Romain Mirc (see our article “Back to pruning…“) we continue to improve our training of bush vines (in French, “gobelet”) at our Bek vineyards, home to Nostre Païs and Lou Coucardié.
Of course, this is a task that shows results in the long term — vines need time to express the benefits. But the pleasure our team gets out of working the “gobelets” is already very concrete. What a delight for Carlos and Corneliu to sculpt the vine as a whole and appreciate its architecture!
Confronted with problems of increased mortality in a vineyard planted in single cordon, with Romain we decided to focus on changing their structure.
The single cordon may offer certain benefits, but it’s not adapted to Syrah or Viognier (varietals from the northern Rhône). Indeed, in a region where the climate is windy and dry, the simple cordon quickly becomes “energy-taxing” because it requires a major effort on the vine to feed the leaves located at the extremities of the canopy.
As an example, try carrying two bottles with one hand: the effort required by your arm is huge. Try now to carry one bottle in each hand: the mass is distributed, the effort is balanced between both arms and therefore easily achievable.
For the vine, it’s the same principle. This is why we’ll be training this vineyard in “fan gobelet” which seems to us better suited. While allowing trellising (unlike the conventional “gobelet”), the arms are distributed on both sides of the vine to balance the plant.
Instead of taking a long and winding path, the sap takes a shorter, more direct route. The energy the plant uses is therefore lower, which offers a favorable vegetative state. The vine will then be able to conserve energy and thereby better resist water stress, fight off diseases, have balanced growth and create sufficient reserves for the following year.
Our team leaders, one of whom is a specialist in the cordon method and the other in the bush vine method, are enjoying putting their skills together as a team to bring our first “fan gobelet” vineyard to life.
Rendez-vous next year for the results of this evolution!