All our wines are born in June, because the first step in winemaking is the proper pruning of the grape vine.
By nature grape vines are woody climbers, growing 40 meters up into trees.
And the grapes grow at the very top, available to the birds for dispersal of the grape seeds.
So pruning makes grape picking easier.

It is also a major  tool in controlling wine quality.
The aim is to balance quantity and quality of the grapes. If too many grapes are produced the vine will not be able to mature them properly. An insipid wine with little colour or depth is the result.
Too small a grape crop on the other hand will induce the vine to put its efforts
into growth rather than into ripening the grapes. The wine will have unripe, green flavours  and especially unripe bitter tannins.

Petrus de Crescentijs:
Opus Ruralium Commodorum, ca 1495
Petrus de Crescentijs zu teutsch mit figuren, ca. 1495
Jackie WinterJacky winter   Pruning is done during winter, when vines are dormant.
All premium vineyards are hand-pruned, and each vine is pruned individually, according to its variety, its vigour and the wine style we want to produce next year.
Depending on variety and location different pruning and training systems have to be used to give the best result unpruned vines golden dry leaf
unpruned vines

Each vine requires around 40 - 60 very precise cuts.

unpruned vines
echidna The vines may be dormant, but there is still life about. An Echidna searching for grubs and worms keeps us company, but will soon disappear to reemerge in spring. echidna

A small bat has been accidentally disturbed and is about to take off to find a safer place.

vine moth pupa grey shrike thrush grey shrike thrush

Vine moth pupa overwintering on a vine. The beautiful moth will hatch in September if it survives.

Grey Shrike Thrush is hunting specifically for them.

bird dropping spider This Bird dropping spider (Calaenia excavata) has attached her egg case to a trellis wire and is guarding it. She will release the spiderlings from the cocoon when they are old enough to hatch.
two hares Hares come in pairs this month, and are fat in their woolly winter coat. hare

My happy chickens: Croad Langshans are a rare breed.

  winter bud unpruned vines
pruning vines Endless walls of unpruned wines.... while it is getting colder and colder work progresses vine by vine. unpruned vines
  pruning vines One of the many challenges is that growth and yield also depend on the weather conditions during the coming growing season. Is it going to be wet or dry? Cool or hot? Windy during flowering? Raining at vintage? Early frost?
prunings between the rows The pruned out canes have to be pulled out from the trellis and either mulched or, preferably removed from the vineyard to prevent disease carry-over. pruned vines
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