Articles tagged with: vinification

Wine Almanac – December

pruning-cordon

December, the season of frosts and new activity in the vineyard as pruning begins, and of tasting in the cellar of both the new and the older wines. Apart from a few very late picking of grape for iced wine or late harvest styles. The vines will now be bare and looking very bleak and grimy in most areas. Depending on the regions, pruning begins in the second half of the month where you can find a bunch of people working away with clippers.

Every region has its own distinctive style of pruning, usually related to the grape variety grown as certain grapes respond to being cut hard (back to one shoot) while others do better with two or more. Very abbreviated pruning is known as spur pruning to form the ‘goblet’ shape of the vine and is the areas where the vines are not grown against wires or poles. Cane pruning allows the vine to grow fairly high against a support of wires or poles. Cane pruning allows the vine to grow fairly high against a support of wires or poles with one or two long spurs for next year’s fruit.

Talking about practicalities brings the question of planting the vines. The traditional gap between vines used to be about four feet, but this distance is being increased to cope with machine ploughing, spraying, and even harvesting. For machine harvesting the vines must also be allowed to grow taller. Vineyards are usually ploughed in December to break up the ground before the frosts come. Regions which specialize in very light, fruity wines will prepare some bottling by Christmas to keep the intensity of fruit flavours. Bur, remember that all wine should rest for a short while after bottling.

Santé!

Micheline