Every winter, our team at Clos Marey-Monge works hard to prune each and every vine in our 20-hectare vineyard.
Why do we prune in winter?
Winter is the ideal time for pruning. The leaves have fallen and the sap has completely run down the vine. The wood is easier to cut and the sap no longer flows.
The vine’s growth function above ground is to grow longer to seek light. In viticulture, it is necessary to limit this elongation to regulate the quantity and size of the grapes. This is the first stage of the following vintage and thus plays a crucial role in the future harvest.
At Château de Pommard, we adapt our pruning methods and dates to each plot.
When do we prune?
The team starts pruning at the beginning of December in the entire Clos Marey-Monge and in our Bourgogne Chardonnay and Bourgogne Pinot Noir plots. By the end of January, the first stage of pruning is complete.
We continue with late pruning in the plots most exposed to frost in March, such as Chantrerie and Simone. This allows us to delay budburst as much as possible and limit the damage caused by the dreaded spring frosts.
What methods do you use?
We use different types of pruning that we adapt to each vine, ensuring we always preserve the sap flow of the vines to guarantee their longevity.
Our vineyard manager Jean-Rémi explains: "We shape our young vines using the 'Guyot Simple' pruning method, which is the most suitable for our grape varieties and plant densities. This consists of leaving one shoot with two buds and a second with six buds, becoming the spur and the baguette".
He continues: "On older vines with two distinct sap paths, we use the Guyot-Poussard method, a variant of Guyot Simple. The difference is that we position two spurs, one on each flow".
"Finally, on old vines that are quite high, we often prune them in Cordons de Royat, meaning that we leave four spurs."
Pruning while respecting the environment
Throughout the winter, as you drive along the Route des Grands Crus, you can see clouds of smoke from the burning of vine shoots. While tolerated, this practice harms both air and health, so we banned it from our operations several years ago.
At Château de Pommard, we have chosen to recycle as many canes from pruning as possible. The cut shoots are bundled in the rows and removed by our team. One part will be shredded and composted with bovine manure, which we will then spread in the fall. Our partner Vitis Valorem will collect and recycle the other part into biodegradable staples for trellising.
A crucial task
Pruning the vines is an extremely important stage, requiring know-how and rigor. Our passionate team carries out this work carefully, to influence the quality and quantity of our future harvest, as well as the longevity of the plants. As a result, vintage after vintage, we can produce a remarkable Pinot Noir that fully reflects its terroir.