December in the vineyard8 December 2020
In 1910 in December, work in the vineyard was marked by the start of pruning and maintenance or preparation work for the planting of the plots.
Here is what we can read in the Wine Trade Directory in 1910 :
Winter pruning – We only start this operation in the South and the neighboring regions when the vegetation of the vines is well stopped and we practice it as long as the new sap does not set in motion. If you could choose your timing, you would have to prefer the end of winter when the cold weather has passed and the fabric of the branch has acquired all its firmness. You should never prune when the wood is frozen.
In the vineyards of the North, winter pruning can have the disadvantage of allowing the strong frosts to exert their action on the wood and of exposing the bud then emerging more quickly, to the action of the spring frosts. So we are often satisfied with a cleaning size.
This cleaning pruning consists of removing unnecessary vines in December and leaving intact only the branches intended for production in the future year. We prune long or short depending on the grape variety.
Miscellaneous works – Unloading, hauling fertilizer, transporting soil, digging up, digging up, opening pits for new plantings, provignage in vineyards where the soil is dry.
We put the grapes to stratify in the sand; grafts on cuttings or roots are performed in the workshop. Finally, the shelling, scalding, bells and whitewashing against the moth and cochylis are carried out.
Nowadays in December
Pruning also begins in winter in December, but can be pushed back to get closer to spring. This will depend on the organization of the pruning site according to the number of people and the surface to be pruned. The branches resulting from the pruning can be crushed and left in the row of vines to bring organic matter to the soil or else removed from the rows and burnt.
“Vineyard and cellar – 1910” is a series of articles that we present to you throughout the year 2020, month by month. The articles are taken from the 1910 “Wine Trade Directory” and describe the various works necessary for the grapes and wine production at the beginning of the 20th century.