Winter vineyards

Vineyards look like graveyards at the moment. Dead branches, a cold, solemn atmosphere around it.

But this period is actually essential to the regeneration of grapes.

Currently, the vines are being pruned and the rest of the branches are turned into mulch or burned. The remaining branch (which we call one year old wood) is to be bent down horizontally and tied to a trellis in order for the buds to then transform into vertical shoots during Spring. The fewer buds, the fewer grapes. The fewer grapes , the more concentration of aromas in each grape because of the quantity of nutrients they receive from the vine.

Of course, it’s a mathematical equation: should I have more grapes and lower quality (to then sell wine at a cheaper price), or should I focus on quality ?
Evidently, many Loire Valley winemakers such as Thierry Germain in Saumur-Champigny (this is his famous “Les Mémoires” vineyard on photo, vines are 115 years old in average!) push for the latter option.

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