Anyway, only very few let themselves be annoyed by the truly great weather that just doesn't want to stop, it seems. No rain for a month, sun that advances everything. In the forest the leaves of the trees don't even have the slightest nuance of light green left any more. It sure does look like summer.
The vines are crazy, which is why the grandmother of the little cousin,must work eight hours per day in the vines in 25 degrees Celsius, instead of looking after her granddaughter. So no afternoon playing these days.
Removing the buds
She and her husband look after two thirds of the vines of Alain's family - the white Chardonnay and the red Pinot Noir - and they are now full time busy removing the surplus buds. Ébourgeonnage that is.
It may sound like a bit of a fine work, and it is. The main part of surplus buds - for instance those that will not be fertile anyway - has hopefully been removed already while pruning in the winter. But since it is not possible to identify all buds, the last are taken away in spring. Normally later than this year.
When the vines are as developped as now, the buds have developped into real small stems with leaves. If you know the parts of your vine, you can easily spot, which stems to leave and which to remove. At this time the stems are still very soft and easy to take off, even without tools. When the outer layer of the stem later in the season becomes hard, it is a lot more difficult.
Wait for the new moon
But in our one hectare we keep our buds another little while. One thing is that our red Pinot Meunier are about 10 days later than the Chardonnay, another that - according to Alain - it is still too early, too risky to remove the buds. 25 degrees Celsius or whatever.
We stick to the practice of the old ones. According to that the weather will stay for the rest of the moon. The next moon period is at the same time as the days where you - traditionally also - stop worrying about frost. So we prefer to wait and see what weather the new moon will bring, before we remove surplus buds. In this way we don't risk removing something we may need. But we will probably have harder and more work afterwards.
Story to be continued, of course. As for the little cousin, she will attend the coming-up four years birthday.
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