Managing the vines
When their leaves fall off in November, the vines begin their winter rest, and when the sap stops flowing, preparatory pruning can begin.
The Les Davids estate uses three types of pruning, selecting the one which is best suited to the terroir and the grape variety. On plots of Viognier and Chardonnay, varieties which are not tremendously fertile, the Guyot Poussard pruning system is preferred. This age-old pruning system, also known as Gobelet pruning, has been used since Roman times and is perfect for very vigorous varieties, our unevenly terraced slopes and plots which are difficult to irrigate.
Used in many parts of the world, the Cordon de Royat is an intermediate pruning technique which maintains high quality by reducing the yield and vigour.
At the first signs of spring, the whole vineyard is covered with a mixture of leguminous plants and local flowers. They attract predatory insects and are an important source of organic matter that stimulates the activity and biological life of the soil. The vine-growers also amend the soil with manure from Rove goats, an indigenous breed, to reactivate the microorganisms in it.
Bud-break is the sign that the vines are coming back to life. The vine-growers ensure healthy growth through very careful trellising, which is critical for proper grape ripening.