Outside the harvest period, what does he do? Well, in this article we will try to show you a little of the activity of these producers month by month, and you will see that producing wine is something far from an easy task, as it requires presence and constant care to ensure the quality of the delicious products we put in our cups. Well, let’s see:
First of all it is good to remember that this calendar may vary slightly from region to region, due to the weather, the type of wine to be produced and other factors.
Pruning time can begin in December and usually extends to March. Some growers say it is time to make the vines “weep” as sap flows from these incisions. The Winemaker carefully chooses the branches that should be removed, reducing the number of branches, reinforcing the vine that will give larger branches and berries, impacting the quality of the fruits.
Pruning continues and in the new plantations the
cuttings begin to be removed.
Completion of pruning coincides with the beginning of spring and the vines begin to “awaken”.
Time to plow the land, either with a tractor or horses.
Planting season and time to “organize” the vines. The branches are supported by the wires (these held by stakes), directing the growth of the branches (remembering that the vine is a climbing plant). * There are places, for example in southern France, where the branches are left free.
A risky time in some regions due to the occurrence of frost that can compromise the entire crop. Spraying season for pest control (no pesticides on organics) and start the removal of excess leaves in front of the bunches allowing greater insolation and aeration.
It is the flowering period, the berries of the grapes are drawn. These flowers appear in early June, when the temperature is around 20 ° C. Curls bloom with a slight fragrance. It is this flowering on which depends the number of berries (or grains).
Excess branches are also pruned.
Last moment to treat the vine against possible diseases and cut the very long branches. Only the weather now influences the future harvest, which usually happens 100 days after flowering.
“Green harvest” season, which consists in removing certain bunches to promote development and improve the quality of the others. This is also the time when the winemaker can take a few days off before the great work of the season.
The most anticipated period of the year, the harvest, which usually begins at the beginning of the month, when the grapes reach the optimum degree of maturity. Sometimes mechanized, harvesting is still manual for Grands Crus and sweet wines (where several passes are required to harvest only the noble “rot” bunches). From this point, we will follow the work already inside the winery.
Grape harvests sometimes extend, especially for sweet wines, but it is in the cellar that the winemaker is busiest now. The wine is in full fermentation and the time has come for the choice. The producer monitors his wine in vats or barrels daily to control sugars, alcoholic and sometimes malolactic fermentations. A heavy and decisive work.
The winemaking continues until its completion, the fermentations are finished. Now it is time to prepare everything for winter. To be properly protected from frost, the small trees are “buttés” (covered with sand) in the vineyard and the heated barrels in the colder regions.
The quieter month, pruning can happen only from mid-month on in some regions.
Meanwhile, the wines in the barrels or vats await your moment to go to the bottles and be ready for our pleasure.
As we can see, until we can enjoy our wine the winegrower and all his team has a lot of work, no breaks. The appreciation of these professionals is deserved.