Growth cycle of the vine
The year for the winegrower starts immediately after the harvest, ie. mid-October.
The vine is at rest in this period.
The vine leaves change colour and begin to fall with the first frosts.
The base of the vines are earthed up to protect them against winter frosts (” buttage “).
Beginning of pruning.
Continuation of November’s work.
The branches are attached to the horizontal wires (“accolage”).
Vines are treated.
The beginning of the main pruning. Pruning is the most specialised work in the vineyard, as it must be adapted to each vine.
Continuation of pruning
End of pruning.
Spreading of fertiliser.
Grafting of new vines.
The vine sap begins to rise and the first signs of growth will be seen.
Stakes are cut and their bark is taken off.
They are then blunted and dipped in copper sulphate.
The earth is taken away from the bases of the vines (”débuttage “), and is hoed around the plant (“binage”).
Tying down of the year’s productive cane to the lower wire.
Planting of young vines from the nursery, which were grafted the previous year.
Spreading of herbicide.
First leaves form on the vine.
The new season’s buds burst.
Planting of the newly-grafted vine-stock in the nursery. 1st spraying against insects and fungal diseases. The spreading shoots are brought in within the horizontal wires to enable the sunlight to reach the nascent bunches better and to clear the rows for the tractors to pass.
Relevage continues. The branches are tied to the horizontal wires (” accolage “). Spraying. The vine flowers and fruit then sets on the shoots.
” Accolage ” continues. Trimming of the vine shoot-tips to see that the maximum amount of nutrient is diverted to the grape-bunches. Spraying. If the fruit set has been overabundant, the grower may remove surplus bunches to restrict production and increase quality.
Trimming. Preparation for the harvest : cleaning of the press-house and the vats. This is the quietest month, as spraying should not be continued in the four weeks up to picking. Early in the month, the grapes take on colour. Berries swell as they reach maturity.
Grapes will be tested regularly for sugar content, usually carried out in the vineyard with a refractometer. Harvesting in late September or early October.