A Year In The Vines – March 2014

The air is warm. An early morning haze hangs over the landscape. A startled lizard darts under a rock while a few droning bees move methodically between wild-flowers collecting the first pollen of spring.

March in Burgundy and the weather has turned. Nights remain cold but the lengthening days have been blessed with bright spring sunshine. The cloudlike forms of blossom-covered fruit trees dot the hillsides and with the arrival of the warm weather Burgundy is waking from its long winter.

For those workers who braved the bitterly cold conditions of January and the wind and rain of February, the hard repetitive work of pruning, burning and attaching the vines is over and March provides an opportunity to clean, prepare, organise and rest for the busy months ahead.

With a number of vines coming to the end of their long life in 2013, new vines must be planted. With a new spring moon in ascendance, ideal for planting, Jean-Pieer sets out into the vines of Auxey-Duresses to replace vines removed in January.

In T-shirt and jeans, perched on an upturned bucket Jean-Pierre removes each young Pinot Noir vine from a refrigerated box. Every plant is carefully examined before its hair like roots are trimmed. The position of each new vine has been previously marked out with blue plastic ribbon. Using a specific tool, a fourchette, each new plant is driven firmly into the stony soil, so only the red wax that grafts the French grape variety to its American root stock remains visible above the surface.

Heeled in by foot, these young vines will spend the next three years sending their roots deep into the limestone subsoil before producing grapes that will become some of the most cherished wine on earth.

Enjoy the gallery of images below. Click on a thumbnail to view the images in a slideshow.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 21st, 2014 at 7:50 am and is filed under A Year In Burgundy, Auxey Duresses, Burgundy, Photographic Projects, Wine, Wine Making. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. Both comments and pings are currently closed.