Now that we’re a few weeks into the year pruning is the first piece of work on the list. And such an important one. Der Schneider macht die Kleider is an old German saying translating to the taylor makes the clothes. First of all it’s about not overloading the vines. Specifically after the super dry summer we had last year. The vines of some vineyards won’t have put back enough reserves to supply as many shoots as they usually do. So a few buds less will help the vine a lot. Secondly it’s about keeping (or bringing) the vine in shape. You want to prune in a way that avoids future wounds below the renewal spurs, you want to keep the head below the wire and you want to ensure that the supply for the shoots is as good as it can be. It’s the first year we seriously start following the Simonit&Sirch method.
There are a couple of excellent videos of these pruning rockstars on YouTube. Even if your Italian is a little rusty (or not existent) they are fun to watch if you love the plant.
It’s a no-brainer for our new Riesling. Planted in 2013 this year’s cuts are tremendously important for the further development of the young vines. It also works quite well with younger vineyards where you still have the opportunity to split the juice streams right on the trunk. It looks a bit odd though.
With the older fellows it’s a lot more tricky. Often part of the trunk is completely dead or there are no renewal spurs. It also takes me ages to identify where the juice for a potential spur is coming from and I’ve spent quite a bit of time removing the bark to see what’s going on. It will take a few years to see the results but I think it’s going to be worth it.
Meanwhile the wines have been developing really nicely in the cellar. I had a few issues with the old barrels though. The two big red wine barrels (Pinot Noir and Regent) started adding the taste of wet rags. Nothing to worry about though. I racked the wines and migrated them straight to a tank (giving them their yeast back which was still super tasty). With all the air they swallowed during that process they lost the unpleasant nuance in an instant. The barrels will get another shot this fall, they just need a few vintages to get back in shape after many years of wet conservation.