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Everything you've always wanted to know about wine but were afraid to ask.

The pruning of the vine is a very important step in the elaboration of a wine. It conditions the good fructification and the grape harvest. This limits the growth of the vine in order to regulate the production of grapes in quantity and quality.


Generally the vines are pruned at the end of winter, between February and March, to avoid periods of frost. The aim is to keep only the most fertile buds, i.e. those that appear on the one-year-old wood. Buds growing on wood that is more than a year old are less fertile, so all old wood must be pruned. It can also be trimmed during the summer period but it is not compulsory. Pruning removes old wood to make room for new, more fertile shoots.


Champagne Gremillet


The different types of sizes


The cup size:


It is a short pruning of the vine used in some vineyards. It is mainly practiced in Mediterranean regions because having a vine stock close to the ground protects the vine from the wind and the falling vegetation helps to protect the bunches from the sun. With this pruning, only 3 to 5 arms (branches) are kept on the vine stock. The branches end with a spur of 3 or 4 buds. This size is mainly used in the Mediterranean south and there are several types of goblet size depending on the region.


The Royat cord waist:


This size is slightly closer to the cup size because it can be short but has the particularity of being able to be high. For this size only 1 or 2 arms should be kept with each 3 or 4 spurs with 2 buds. This size is recommended for quality production. It is used in many parts of the world.


The advantage of string pruning and cup pruning is that both methods of pruning keep as many buds as possible.


Guyot waist:


Considered the most productive, guyot pruning keeps only the fruit bearing buds (which are fertile). For this size, the quality of the bunches is preferred to the quantity produced. Production depends on the length of the rod and the number of buds. We select a stick that can go from 6 to 12 buds and that will be attached to a spur and a wire. There are two types of Guyot sizes, single and double. This pruning is practiced in Alsace, Burgundy and Bordeaux.


The lyre waist:


This large size is the only one that still gives good results. It takes its name from its two trellis shafts that form a lyre. It's a high waist, two perpendicular arms carry the courtyards. This method is made to avoid shady areas and to optimize the sunshine and ventilation of the vine. It is practised in the Jura and the Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune.


Precision mechanical pruning :


This new sizing method is designed to reduce costs as much as possible. This pruning is very short with one or two buds and aims to create a renewed pruning line each year but at the same height. The straighter the pruning line, the easier mechanical pruning will be. To do this, the cord is wrapped around a carrier wire.


Champagne de Sousa


Each type of pruning has its advantages and disadvantages and is more or less adapted to different regions, soils and climates. The most suitable method for the location must be chosen and whether quantity or quality is desired.



Lou Dubois for the Clusters

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