Autumn has arrived in the vineyard. A reverse process has begun as the energy stored in the vine in the form of minerals and carbohydrate, is passed back down from the leaves into the main trunk and roots for winter storage in readiness for a renewed burst of growing energy next spring. The release of this energy will be seen next spring as the vine forces the sap upwards, emerging in the form of sap bleeding from any fresh pruning cut. At this stage we hold off a little longer from the start of pruning however, to ensure that the benefits of this process are maximised.
The slightly eerie skeletal shape of the vine, throughout the summery hidden beneath a blanket of leaves, now becomes apparent. Most of this structure will soon be pruned away to leave four arms from selected shoots, two of which will be tied down in spring to form the new seasons structure (cane pruning) and the other two left temporarily, as insurance against breakage of the favoured two canes during the tying down process and any late spring frost.
Not all parts of the vineyard loose their leaves at the same rate. In parts where the ground is higher and the cold air drains quickly away to lower points and the vines stubbornly hang on to their leaves, as if to demand a frost before they will inevitably yield.Back to article list