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


Generally the vines are pruned at the end of winter, between February and March in order to avoid frost periods. The aim is to keep only the most fertile buds, i.e. those that appear on the one-year-old wood. The buds growing on wood over a year old are less fertile, so it is necessary to cut all the old wood. It can also be pruned in the summer period, but this is not mandatory. Pruning removes old wood to make way for new, more fertile shoots.


Champagne Gremillet


The different types of size


The cup size:


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


The Royat cordon 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 it is necessary to keep only 1 or 2 arms with 3 or 4 spurs each with 2 buds. This size is recommended for a quality production. It is used in many parts of the world.


The advantage of cordon pruning and goblet pruning is that these two pruning methods make it possible to keep as many buds as possible.


The guyot pruning:


Considered the most productive, Guyot pruning only keeps the fruit 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 stick and the number of buds. We select a rod 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 pruning, the single and the double. The single has a long length This size is practiced in Alsace, Burgundy and Bordeaux.


The size in lyre:


This large size is the only one that still allows good results. It takes its name from its two trellising axes which form a lyre. It is a high waist, two perpendicular arms carry the spurs. This method is designed to avoid shaded areas and to optimize sunshine and ventilation of the vine. It is practiced in the Jura or in the Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune.


Precision mechanical cutting:


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


Champagne de Sousa


Each type of size has its advantages and disadvantages and adapts more or less to different regions, soils and climates. It is necessary to choose the most suitable method for the location and to choose whether the quantity or quality is desired.



Lou Dubois for the Grappes

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