We mentioned it last month: December is the start of pruning in the vineyard. This essential task in the cultivation of the plant (which is in fact a forest vine) will keep us busy throughout the winter. Here are 3 questions/answers to better understand what pruning is and why it is essential in our profession.
Pruning the vine consists of cutting back the vegetation, cutting off certain "branches" to encourage new growth. This is done to regenerate the vine in order to force it to make new wood, which will allow a new and controlled fruiting.
If we don't prune it, the vines grow a lot of wood and we have a lot of grapes, but of poorer quality. This also allows us to regulate the yields. That's why we practice short pruning, which favours small yields, in this case, we practice cordon de Royat pruning, a very short pruning (yes, there are several types of pruning depending on the terroir, the grape variety and the objectives of the winemaker!)
The branches, the "secondary" branches, must be cut back so that the vine does not become exhausted and so that next year it will produce a robust wood with very beautiful foliage.
Good pruning, Yves ;)