|Spurred on by some slightly overzealous spring showers, the new shoots sprout explosively in their quest for freedom.|
|However, let us not utter a bad word about this year’s spring; there is a party going on amongst the grapes. Because we produce our wine organically all the happy creatures that inhabit the vineyard are buys celebrating the return of the spring sunshine.|
Grapevines are just like people: they enjoy company, good food and don’t shy away from the occasional drink.
There is one other major fact they have in common with us: grape vines die. A tractor accident, old age, or perhaps by way of one of the many creepy crawlies that prey on them. There are plenty of nasty beasties out to get them, but among them there is one so fearsome that winemakers dare only whisper its name.
THE DESTROYER’, as the Phylloxera Vastatrix is better known. A little monster that spreads like wildfire and that was, in the late eighteen hundreds, singlehandedly responsible for the annihilation of pretty much every single vineyard in France. And not only in France but in most of Europe, reaching as far as Russia.
|Dead wine plants have to be dug up. After that job has been done, the old supporting posts, the Piquets, are pulled out to make space for fresh ones.|
|Then you must head to the Pépinériste, the grape-nursery, and buy some baby-vines to be planted in spring.|
Unless of course you, due to all sorts of obstacles (making tv programs, writing novels and such), are running very much behind schedule.
Then you’ll find that the impatient baby-vines will have started to grow before they have even been put into soil. The above rascals have at last been planted and now it’s only a matter of watering, pampering and treating them to the occasional serenade.