18 February, 2002

Spring in February

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Scent of spring in Loisy-en-Brie.

The weather seems to have settled for one direction only: Up and towards spring. Today we had incredible 10-12 degrees Celsius with a lot of sun even before noon.

The scents have changed since last weekend. I smell spring now. I don't know excactly what it is. Maybe the sun, maybe the warmth created by the sunshine. A enhanced gentleness, another light.

We have not yet seen the sap flowing - in French called les pleurs and the point-of-no-return after which the cycle of the vines really takes off - but the birds sing more, sing different, we hear new calls, other warbles. Today I even heard the humming of the bees for the first time this year.

Month of March
Normally we have all March to finish the pruning and then bind the branches to the thread in the fence. This year it has become harder and harder to believe that we can expect a lot of time, before spring will arrive for good.

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Alain burns removed branches in the homemade wheel-barrow.

This saturday and sunday morning I have pruned as usual. Alain has been tidying up in the lower plot. Burnt branches left under the vines and pruned what has not been completely or thoroughly finished. Some weeks ago I wrote, that women prune more thoroughly than men. I may want to extend my point a bit. Another parameter seems reasonable, and that is whether the plot is yours (long-term rent counts too) or somebody elses. It seems to matter who will do the cleaning of for instance buds, that were not removed, later in the year.

All years when somebody else has pruned his vines, Alain has always followed in their steps to check and even to prune more, if the worker has not worked as thoroughly as Alain likes it.

One finished, one to go
One of our vineyards is almost pruned to the end now. It is a young guy from Vertus, who has done most of it. In the other plot there is still most of it to finish. Five rows of 42 are pruned.

To work in the weekend does not get you very far.

Our two plots look like this after the weekend.

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Five rows of vines have been pruned in the upper plot.

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We still lack 37 rows that all look like this.

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The lower plot in Loisy-en-Brie is almost ready to bind by now.

På dansk

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