20 April 2021

Des nouvelles du vignoble

This is a small portion of the Renaudière vineyard where we walk the dog every day (twice).
I can see the dog on the road, following me on the gravel road through the vines.
Maybe you can too. She likes to stop and sniff a lot more than I do.

Back in early April, the vines had sprouted new growth. The weather was warm.
Afterwards, we had freezing temperatures most mornings for about two weeks.
Sunday afternoon, I had to look really hard to find these little grape leaves.
Mostly, I just saw brown, shriveled buds that had been killed by frost.

The people who own many of the vineyard parcels out back are handing their business off to their daughter,
and she is changing things. She's introducing organic practices, and reducing the use of herbicides.
Last year, she planted these rows of fava beans between the rows of vines on one parcel
and mowed up and down the other rows to keep the grasses and weeds down.

On other vineyard plots, plowing between the vines rather than spraying herbicides
is the method used to keep the unwanted grasses and other native plants down.
Crews seem to be replacing a lot of the support wires and posts this year.

Here are some more live leaves I noticed on the vines on Sunday afternoon. On this trunk, it looks like
the two buds on the left are alive but the two buds on the right have been killed by frost.

We're hoping that we won't have too many more frosty mornings now,but there's no guarantee.
The low temperature yesteday morning was about +5ºC (40ºF).
This morning the temperature outdoors is about 10ºC (50ºF).


  1. We're three weeks away from the saints de glace, let's hope temperatures will stay above freezing!

  2. Oh, my, I hope there isn't too much frost damage.

  3. my hydrangeas have already been nipped by a previous frost or 2 and now tomorrow night another one...ugh

  4. Our spring is also chilly here in Alabama, but not freezing like yours. My pansies are very happy, usually they are starting to whither. Organic practices make good sense to me.

  5. I've read that in many areas of France (and elsewhere in Europe), vineyards have been hard hit by killing frosts this spring. A lot of the problem was due to early bud break because of mild weather.

  6. Yes, hopefully no more frosts. Wine prices need to stay low to get us through the rest of this pandemic. Nice that the daughter is growing vines organically; I wonder if there's a difference in the taste. What does the clover do?

    1. Clover absorbs the nitrogen in the air and gives it back to the soil as a fertilizer. Le trèfle absorbe l'azote de l'air et le restitue dans le sol comme engrais.

    2. Hi D. nere is a link to an interesting article about clover

    3. It sounds like clover is a nitrogen-fixer; like peas. But I don't think peas will ever be planted in rows of vines.

    4. Right, CHM and Bob R. The clover over-wintered and really started growing big and strong back in February or March. I assume it will be mowed down or plowed under soon.

  7. Interesting...I'd no idea about clover, thanks all! Like peanuts in soil....thanks for the article chm!


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