Vine pruning is the most fundamental of all the vineyard tasks. It is regarded as the basis of successful viticulture. The quality of the grapes, the future harvest and therefore ultimately Champagne itself all hinges on careful pruning.
Before starting to prune, growers must carefully assess several factors. First, the general vigour of the vine. Next, its balance: distribution of buds, vertical or lateral growth habit, etc. They also determine the potential growth rate for the coming year. Finally, they check the potential need for rejuvenation pruning.
The 4 pruning methods used in Champagne
There are different types of pruning: Chablis, Cordon, Guyot and Marne Valley. Each method has distinct characteristics which impact the vine, and therefore the grape it produces, differently. Pruning is aimed at striking a balance between vigour and productivity. This balance will be achieved by selecting the right pruning method. One of the methods might also be better suited to a particular grape variety.
This marks the start of the tasks to be carried out in the vineyard
As the first job to be done after harvest time, pruning should begin as soon as the leaves begin to fall, so typically at the start of autumn. It stops between mid-December and mid-January, during the dormant winter period. It then resumes, continuing through until mid-March.
Precise, expert pruning on the part of the grower and their teams is essential to ensure harmonious growth of the vine. The reward will be the presence of healthy grape clusters with all the desired qualities.
Knowhow that requires precision, rigour and intelligence Knowhow that requires precision, rigour and intelligence