It’s not just animals that hibernate, or get their “beauty rest.” After harvest, when the grapes are picked, and the leaves fall off, the vines go into a period of dormancy. From this point until the first bud break, the vines are essentially asleep. This is when we begin pruning and cutting back the growth from the previous year. We do this to control the growth and the fruit load of the vines, keeping them in balance.
When the soil warms in the springtime, the vines wake up from their dormancy and begin to push these developing buds out of the woody canes. We control the amount of fruit that the vine will be able to set for the current vintage to ensure the vine will be able to fully ripen the clusters. Skillful pruning is one of the most critical chores during the viticultural season. This process has started as we have pruned the Cabernet Franc vines on our Oakville Estate.