The year in the vineyard
In January, on the falling moon, the largest single job in the vineyard is started – the pruning of all the vines. We work according to biodynamic principles, so that we prune in the period when the moon is falling, and use the period in between to remove what has already been cut.
The branches are placed between the rows, and then crushed with a grass cutter so that the waste goes back to the soil. Already during pruning, the foundation is laid for this year’s crop. The regulations (DOCG) have clear guidelines on how much grapes we are allowed to produce. This to avoid overproduction and secure high quality. A standard wine and a superior wine have different requirements with regard to how much grape and following that, wine, can be produced per hectare. We prioritize quality before quantity, so that our production is always well below what is allowed. This is reflected in our fullbodied and tasefull wines.
Pruning of all the vines must be completed before germination begins in early April. That is, we have three months from the time we start until all the vines are to be “laid down” on the string. We can also start pruning in December, but only after there has been several frosty nights. Before each vine is laid down, all the strings must be tightened.
At the end of March, each branch left on the vine is laid down and attached to the lower string. A row of vines consists of posts with a given distance between and several steel wires. We delay the work of laying down as far into March as possible, as the branches can easily break when it is too cold. Another advantage is that it is more sap in the branch and therefore the twig can withstand more.
While it is sprouting and growing, there is a lot that can be done in the vineyard. Sick vines are removed and new ones are planted. If large areas (new vineyards) are to be planted, we prefer to do it late in the autumn. This provides optimal conditions as there is often precipitation in the winter and the plant gets off to a good start. The grass also grows incredibly fast, so now the continuous process of mowing and keeping it tidy between the rows begins. We use a tractor for the rough work, and use a mechanized cultivator between the vines. This as an better alternative to using herbicides.
To avoid mildew and other diseases, the vines must be sprayed during the summer. The first spraying usually takes place in early May. The rule of thumb is that it must be sprayed when there has been 10 mm of precipitation, the shoots are 10 cm and the temperature is 10 degrees at night. In May, we start the work of removing wild shoots up along the trunk and remove excess shoots and foliage.