During the month of January, you’ll find us doing little else than pruning. The season is not yet behind us and I thought it might be interesting to share with you the specificities of pruning in the “gobelet” fashion (also called bush vine). As you may already be aware of, pruning is a crucial activity since not only does it shape the plant, but it also has a huge impact on harvest potential.
“Gobelet” is an ancestral method – Romans already pruned their vineyards this way, way back then. But today this practice has all too often been sacrificed at the altar of mechanization. Ideally suited for our climate, we have chosen bush vine training for certain varietals planted in our very best terroirs. Specifically, we have privileged this method with Grenache and Mourvedre, since both have the advantage of having an upright growth pattern. Their wood is strong and rigid unlike Syrah which needs a trellis system to keep its vines off the ground.
image : Pépinières Chauvin website
With the “gobelet” pruning method, we form four arms around a central base to distribute and aerate the clusters. We end up with an open structure, allowing the slightest air current to circulate through the leaves and clusters thus ensuring a healthy environment. In addition the vegetation forms an umbrella that protects the berries from too much sun. This living sculpture is three dimensional. Pruning each vine is a mental exercise where the pruner must imagine how the vine will evolve in its environment relative to its neighbors. Each vine takes on its own unique structure.
Today, for economic reasons, many vineyards initially conducted as bush vines have been converted to trellises. We are pleased and proud to have been able to preserve our old Grenache as “gobelets”. In fact, convinced by the qualitative impact on our wines, we’ve chosen to plant new parcels as “gobelets”, making a commitment for future generations (remember our previous article).
To learn more, I invite you to watch my video about this subject.