Sunday, February 5, 2012

The art of slow pruning

The french word for pruning is la taille and that is what I have been doing for the last month - la taille. Pruning takes up a large amount of a wine growers life as each vine has to be individually sculpted.  I only have a couple of very small vineyards but even so it takes an experienced pruner over 2 months to prune them all.  You can imagine if I were to try and do it all myself - it would be the harvest by the time I finished.  So when I say I have been pruning what I really mean is that I have been helping in the vineyards whilst the professionals get on with it.  But don't think that I have been shirking the hard work.  Each vineyard needs to be pre pruned to take off the long canes, the canes need to be burned and then once the vines have been pruned those on wires need to be attached to the wires.

Not quite ready to enter the local pruning competition

This is the first year though that I become fascinated by the art of pruning.  The grower sculpts each vine to make sure that next years crop is evenly distributed on the vine, that there isn't too much of it or too little.  I have the basic principles in my head but each vine takes me about ten minutes whilst a pro would do it in one.

So for this year, apart from a couple of unfortunate vines, I have contented myself with the pre and post pruning jobs.

I have absolutely loved it - especially as I download novels and drift off into my little world whilst I snip away.

Katie Scissor Hands