New Years Day: A time for the making of resolutions and gentle reflection on the year that was. Who am I kidding? It’s a time to sleep and walk around in your jams, drink an awful lot of water and reflect on the night that was. If you’re a grape vine, you’ll be doing some of that today. While you won’t be trying to remember who you kissed at midnight, you’ll probably be sleeping ~ deeply. Your jams will be extra soil or straw, and your water will be the snow accumulating around you.
In the weeks prior to winter, grape vines prepare themselves for the approaching icy blast by ‘hardening off‘. This is where the shoot of the vines begin to harden up, turn brown and shut their processes down after retrieving/storing nutrients they’ll need for the coming dormant months. The plants goes into energy conservation mode to keep itself intact. A good portion of pruning occurs at this time to get the plant set for the spring and the next growing cycle. If the vines are not properly prepared and pruned through the dormant winter months, the next harvest might be seriously compromised.
So if you’re driving past vineyards this winter, go quietly. You don’t want to disturb what might become your next great bottle.