Levage: After winter the vines begin their first stage of the growth cycle. Buds come out, and then shoots begin to grow. First the vines undergo an operation called suckering, where non-fruit-bearing shoots that would sap the vigor from fruit-bearing ones are removed. This is followed by “levage” or “lifting” where the wines are attached by hand to the horizontal guide wires. This is done two or three times to keep pace with vine growth.
Work on the soil: Spring is also the time to work the soil. The soil is screefed and ploughed and earthed up to limit the growth of grass. This work is important also for the vines, as it forces the vine roots to sink deep into the ground to find nourishment, and the deeper the roots dig, the less the vines are prone to excess or insufficient water supply later in the season. Replanting, i.e replacing too old and weak vines also takes place in March and April.
Top Trimming: Flowering takes place between late May and early June. The flowers need to bloom at the same time, so the grapes will ripen together. This is the time when we limit the vertical growth of the uppermost shoots first time by trimming. This topping facilitates penetration of the sun’s rays to the grapes and provides better aeration to the bunches. One key element to high quality wine is homogeneous growth and the work on vineyard focuses to encourage it.