With the aim of restructuring and modernizing the vineyard, we regularly re-plant young vines. On the steep slopes of Mont Brouilly, it’s very difficult to adapt the old goblet pruning system for environmentally-friendly growing.
This is why we are training the new plantings, pruned in “Royat cordon”.
As soon as the better weather starts in March, the vines start to wake up. The buds, sheltered in their bud down (cotton wool), swell and break through the fluff: this is the bursting of the buds.
Now starts the disbudding, a painstaking job that can only be done by hand, which consists in selecting an adequate number of well-positioned shoots, in order to regulate the production and maintain the vine’s balanced shape. The disbudding is necessary to improve the microclimate within the plant and prepare for the next Winter’s pruning.
Just before the buds awaken from their winter dormancy, the sap is already mounting in the above-ground parts of the vine. Now’s the time to take advantage of the flexibility of the shoots to form the future attached cordons or form them into canes for the “Guyots”.
For working the soil, we’ve gone for microtractors, which have the dual advantage of using little fuel and not compacting the soil.
Throughout the growing phase, the soil maintenance must be adapted depending on the plots and the meteorological conditions. The grass strips are either mown or rolled, depending on the effect being sought; beneath the vines, shallow tilling makes it possible to limit competition and aerate the soil; which is not without difficulty on our Côte de Brouilly plots, where the slopes are between 25 and 48%.