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Why prune?

The art of pruning is a time-honoured tradition that has traditionally played a crucial role in the creation of exceptional wines. We understand the profound impact that pruning techniques have on the health, yield, and quality of our vines. In this and upcoming blogs, we will explore how this ancient practice is evolving now and into the future.

One technique that Laurent has been experimenting with is palmette pruning. This is a training system that involves shaping the vines into a fan or palm-like structure. This method is characterised by a horizontal trunk, with multiple arms or cordons spreading out in a fan shape, resembling the fingers of a hand. Each arm is typically trained along a trellis wire, and spurs or canes are then pruned along these arms.


The palmette pruning system offers several advantages and is known for its adaptability to various growing conditions:


Increased Sunlight Exposure: The fan-like arrangement of arms in the palmette system allows for optimal sunlight exposure to the grape clusters. This exposure is essential for the process of photosynthesis and helps in achieving even ripening of the grapes. Our planting of vines from north to south means that we avoid the extreme high temperatures during the middle of the day.


Improved Air Circulation: The open structure of the palmette system facilitates better air circulation within the vine canopy. This is crucial for preventing the development of fungal diseases, as increased airflow helps keep the vines dry and reduces the risk of moisture-related issues, a particular risk during humid or wet summers, like in 2023.


Ease of Canopy Management: The horizontal orientation of the arms makes it easier for vineyard workers to manage the canopy. Pruning, shoot positioning, and leaf removal can be more straightforward tasks compared to some other training systems.


Adaptability to High-Density Planting: Palmette pruning is well-suited for high-density planting, allowing vineyards to maximise space and yield without sacrificing sunlight exposure and air circulation. High planting density is part of our quality programme, as the vines have to compete for water and nutrients, meaning the roots dig deeper, producing concentrated fruit.


It's not uncommon for vineyards, including those in the Languedoc region, to experiment with different pruning systems to find the most suitable approach for their specific terroir, grape varieties, and climate conditions. Laurent is also exploring experimental no-pruning techniques, which we'll explore next time.

À bientôt,


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