This is the time when most plants start to be pruned. This verb comes from
the Latin word putare, which means to clean, remove the old parts to give
space to the new ones. I like this definition very much because
not only describes what happens when we prune the vine but, at the same time, is a metaphor of our life when a new year comes and we leave the old ballast behind ready for new good intentions. But now stop digressing and let explain what happens when we prune the vine, not life.
The Winter pruning of the vine
of a plant and in many cases it consists in the drastic reduction of the buds
and sprouts in order to regulate the life and fruiting of the plant itself.
takes place in this period, that is after the falling of the leaves, and the
second one is called green during the vegetative time, from April to
August. Why did I say that the dry pruning is to be made after the leaves
fall? Because for many years now I have seen, walking along the fields,
lots of vine growers who start pruning just after the grape harvest, as if the
end of world is coming, and many of them cut the shoots still full of
leaves. This is the wrong moment to prune the vine because the plants are
still in a vegetative period. When the plant falls asleep all its nutritional
reserves are saved in the trunk and in the roots, that’s why the foliage falls
in 1 or 2 weeks. By pruning the vine before this period impedes the saving
of reserves that are necessary when the plant awakes again. All this turns
into a productive imbalance that the vine grower has to compensate by
using external chemical fertilizers and, naturally, with the consequent
imbalance in the ripening of the grapes and the natural physiology of the
plant. In other words, the pruning of the vine ought to be made in the right
period, leaving the plant go to sleep in a natural way so that it can store all
its nutritional substances necessary when the following vegetative period arrives. In our winery, as you can see from the photo, there is a carpet of leaves and right now we have started pruning the white Malvasia, one of the most precocious vines we have. Moreover, we use the pruning shoots to make organic substance, adding it to the ground and avoiding, in this way, the addition of fertilizers. In other words, we leave the old to make room to the new, but we don’t through away the old because it is necessary to the new to go ahead and keep on growing.