21. jul. 2016

Sustainability : How to work in the winter period

The pruning
Each vine is an individual. When you prune the plant, you must make sure to respect the rules of pruning as well as the vigour and growth of each plant.

Most plants are in a good healthy state, which means you prune them normally according to the reglementation (In French).

The vigour of some plants is not strong. We prune them harder than the reglementation requires to enable them to restore their vigour by producing less or no grapes. This is done by reducing the number of fertile buds on weak vines.

No vines are pruned less than the requirements.

The binding
Once we finish the pruning, the branches of the vines are attached to the wires.

The stems of last year have now hardened into branches. However they are not yet shaped.

Binding them to the low wire of the trellis will create the typical shape of the vine. The Chardonnays are pruned in the Chablis-manner which leaves a typical example three fingers of different length depending on their age. The Pinots are pruned in either the Cordon-style or the Vallée de la Marne-style, both of which requires a bow that will be attached along the low wire.

The operation is done with a tool that is either manual or a rechargeable machine that you carry in your hand, battery on your back.

If the string/cord used is not broken up naturally or at harvesttime, we will break it at the next pruning season. Once on the floor, the string is biodegradable.

The wooden parts
The pruning of the vines leaves you with pieces of wood to deal with.

You can either burn it or crush it with your tractor to add organic matter that will nourish the soils.

We opt for the burning to avoid spreading disease as for instance esca, that is contagious and kills the plants fast or slow.

The wood is separated in two groups : one year old branches and stems of several years.

The branches are burnt in the vineyards.

The thicker stems are collected and brought back to the farm to be used as firefood in fireplaces or BBQ's.

This burning omits CO 2, however so does the crushing by the tractor. The preferred practice in sustainability is to make use of the energy created by burning the wood.

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