Throughout the Sancerre countryside, the vegetation has slowly entered the hibernation period, and the vines are in vegetative rest. The Joseph Mellot team will carry out winter work until mid-March, which essentially consists of pruning the vines. Indeed, without this artistic action, the vine would grow in liana and would only give poor bunches …
With the cold, the sap descends the vine stocks, and it is so that the wood that was productive in 2019 is cut to leave a single cane and a spur (that will give the wood of this new year). In Sancerre, we practice the so-called Guyot-Poussard pruning. The trimmers then leave the bundles of branches between the rows of vines to be crushed and used as organic matter to nourish the soil. Working slowly and patiently, this is often carried out in cool temperatures, sometimes even in the cold: a necessary hitch for the virtuous cycle of the vine. Fortunately, to warm hearts and give courage and enthusiasm to everyone, Saint Vincent festivities take on a great week of celebration throughout the region, all through January 22nd!And above all, when the sun floods the Sancerre hills, and the sky gratifies the workers on a beautiful winter day, they fully appreciate these favorable conditions which enhance their efforts and make them happy. It is not uncommon to hear laughter and songs echoing in the vineyards!
In a few weeks, during February, the attaching period will also begin. The vine workers attach the cane (the wood that will give grapes), with the horizontal supporting wire, to discipline the future growth of the vine which will start from the beginning of spring.
This is how you will see, as you walk during winter in a seemingly asleep Sancerrois, women and men busy in the vineyards. Because of the perpetuate cycle of nature, the work never really stops for the Joseph Mellot team! This is also the case for the Reuilly and Quincy vineyards at Domaine Jean-Michel Sorbe, and also in our Menetou-Salon, Pouilly-Fumé, Chateaumeillant and Coteaux du Giennois vines… awaiting the resumption of the vegetative cycle, late March, early April.
But before that, the winegrowers all expect a frank, lively and healthy cold for the vines. While each year they fear the spring frosts that abruptly stop the awakening of nature, the winter cold is necessary to ensure a new vigorous vegetative cycle.