Monday, January 23, 2006

The Season begins!

Sunday 21st January was St. Vincent's day, patron saint of vinegrowers (and one-eared artists?) , and the traditional start to the new season. Now that we're experts, having made it through the first season, we've started early in the hope that the weed-growing won't overtake us like last year before we could lift the wires and "sarments" (twigs). Although it's only just above freezing, it's a beautiful day today, so Jules and I have been taking the clips off the wires holding the old vines up, and started making the expert cuts that we were taught last year. It really seemed complicated when we didn't know what the result was meant to look like, but things seem a bit simpler now. On the side where last year's "long" twig was left, all the buds (8-10 of them) grew into small branches, each of which produced a half-dozen or so bunches of grapes. Now to get that to happen again, we need to turn last year's "short" twig (on the opposite side of the vine) into this year's "long" one. As it happens, the one bud we left on each of the "short" twigs has grown into just one small branch, so that's the one we trim down to 8-10 buds. Last year's "long" twig gets totally cannibalized by removing everything except the growth from the first bud, which then gets trimmed to about two inches in length and year's "short" twig!
Well, it seemed very clever to us, but obviously that't the way it's supposed to work! As Emmanuel, one of our friends said, "but that means you'll be making thousands of pruning cuts!" - well, yes....I counted 20 cuts when I was pruning, and Jules is making another 10-15 cutting up the vines into fireplace-sized sarments - that's getting on for 230,000 cuts before we finish - maybe we'd better invest in some sticking plasters and blister cream....


At 1:25 PM, Blogger Suzie said...

Yay Daddo! You updated your blog!! Pruning seems very simple when you describe it, but I'm sure it's harder than it sounds. Have you finished yet? Suz xxx


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