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Tending the Vine

The latest weather caprioles during May proved to be a rollercoaster ride for nature and our feelings: we had to face days of spring frost and then days with temperatures up to 33°C! The cold days caused only a little damage as they occurred in an early stage of vegetative growth, most of which we may mitigate by “green work.”

Also for this reason our people out in the vineyards have plenty to do: “thinning out” means to remove all too densely growing shoots, (preferably those who have already been damaged by frost). It improves the aeration of the canopy and makes for an early yield reduction.

Soon we will have to arrange the young shoots in wireframes (einstricken= knitting in) so as to get a well shaped, aery leaf wall or two aery leaf walls for the so-called “lyre-trellises.”

It is also of great importance to keep the vine stems free of sprouts. All shoots that are positioned too low on the vine and all their neighboring latent buds have to be picked and brushed off properly.

Our young vines with their still feebly developed root systems need special support: i.e. during the hot and dry days: we have to water them and we also hew the soil open manually to eliminate competitive weeds.

Whereas in one part of the vineyard, soils have still to be turned, in other areas we have already begun to sow seeds for a later green cover.
Over the last few days it has been hot and dry. We hope for some rain to encourage growth and flowering. Yet as soon as it gets humid and warm, we will have to keep a watchful eye on possible outbursts of mildew …