Viticulture or working with vines all year long 🌱
"And after the harvest, what is the work of a winemaker?" This type of sentence, Estelle has heard it many times! Today, we take you behind the scenes of a busy schedule throughout the year to pamper the vines of Berru in Champagne.
Estelle prunes the vine and enriches the soil.
She eliminates dead wood, as well as the stems that grow at the base of the old wood in order to limit the inordinate growth of the plant and to regulate the production of grapes. The enrichment of the soil consists in ploughing and bringing nutritive elements like mineral elements.
Estelle maintains her vineyard, replaces dead vines, disbudding by selecting the most fertile shoots and continues to work the soil. Then comes the stage of trellising, an essential technique for the ripening of the grapes. The branches are manually "lined up" around the wires that run through the vineyard and spread out so that the grapes can fully develop. The wires are then pulled up as the vines unfold, climbing around them like lianas.
Last straight line before the harvest. Working the soil is not recommended at this time. Estelle starts the trimming work in order to aerate the bunches of leaves and to favor their exposure to the sun. She monitors the maturity of the grapes to anticipate the organization of the harvest and the recruitment of the pickers.
🍇 ( The grape harvest )
They take place in September, the period when the grapes reach their degree of ripeness. A team of 20 to 30 harvesters are recruited depending on the year over a period of 2 weeks. In Champagne, the grape harvests are obligatorily manual because it is necessary to select the best bunches.
Estelle is already preparing for winter! To be properly protected from freezing the vines are covered with soil to keep them warm. During this season, most of the time is devoted to the vinification of the champagne as well as the preparation of the end of year celebrations and the marketing of the following year.