This post is also available in French
It’s about time to thin out our vineyards. This is also called “green harvest” or “load adjustment.” Ideally we would be doing this around “veraison” (which is when a vineyard stops growing and starts ripening instead — more on this later). But since this is such a lengthy process we have to start a little earlier to finish a little later. Right now we’re focusing on the vineyards that have stopped growing or are just about to, so that the vineyards won’t compensate for the off-load of grapes by making the ones that remain bigger and hence making grapes that are a bit more diluted. In this video I’ll be taking you into an old vineyard of Syrah that is typically destined to give us Nostre Pais. It is a Syrah with very silky tannins, not a huge powerhouse in terms of concentration but always a lot of finesse and balance. In order to achieve those results we have to have a very limited yield in this vineyard: here, we have adjusted loads to about one cluster per shoot (which is about eight clusters per vine). The job requires a lot of concentration because we don’t want two clusters to touch each other. We also want to keep the lower bunch because it’s closer to the source and is typically earlier ripening and better supplied. Also any cluster that would be a little too big we simplify by cutting the wings. This is a crucial procedure in achieving the wines that we want to do and it’s going to take me about three weeks to be done throughout my vineyard.