January at the vineyard

January is cold so far! But that’s ok for the vines.  At the moment they are dormant and we’re pruning.  Most of the blocks B and C have been done.  I’ve been helping with the pinots on block A, which are slightly more complicated to prune due to the way they were pruned in the first year.

We train the vines to something called Double Guyot, which is popular in Bordeaux.  But each vine in block A is very individual so we sometimes use ‘Vertical Shoot Positioning’ (VSP). It’s hard work on my hands as i’m not used to pruning, and some of the wood is a little tough.  I wake up nursing a pruner’s hand the days after i’ve been!

A small proportion of block A will not be pruned until a bit later in the year.  The vines are slightly lower down the slope and more prone to frost in the spring, so we don’t want to encourage them to start growing too soon and risk the damage.  As soon as the vines have been through their winter sleep (150 hrs below zero), they’ll think it’s time to grow when it warms up and their sap will rise.

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