Cycle of the Vine: Winter Dormancy
An essential part of vine health and development
Following the harvest the vines prepare themselves for the winter temperatures approaching. They will continue to build their reserves for a short time after harvest and when a sufficient reserve has been stored up into the root stock the leaves will began to fall and the vines will enter into their dormant stage, essential for protecting the vine to the harsh winter temperatures. It is during the vines dormancy that the pruning of the vines take place and this annual maintenance is imperative to insure the quality of the fruit to come.
January 2022 we were out in the vineyards of Campo Arriba with the Monastrell vineyards participating in the pruning of the vines. The sun had not yet risen and temperatures were well below freezing (-7ºC). As the misty clouds were formed with every exhalation of air we worked to gather what we could to create a small little fire for warmth as we prepared for the days work.
As the sun rose, together we worked, skilfully, row by row of the vineyards pruning the vines back in an effort to control the position of the future growth as well as the quality we hope to achieve with the new coming growth. The landscape is bare when we finish. What once were flourishing bush vines full of vibrant green leaves with a sprinkling of purple clusters are now cut back exposing the age of the vines with their creviced and gnarled trunks a dull brown grey and a surrounding landscape muted by the colors of winter. We will look forward to Spring when the first shoots of green start to appear and bring with it a sense of excitement for what is to come.