25 June, 2002
Actually the palissage - the extensive work removing surplus and badly placed stems - ought to be finished by now. But since the work in a vineyard never seems to really end, this part of summer's tasks is not yet completely finished after all. Yet another sunday in the vineyards. Though this time accompagnied by a pair of scissor's.
A vineyard is a living organism, you don't program it, the buds don't grow on your command - even we pretend so at the time of pruning (;-)). They stick to their inner clock, I guess, and grow excactly as they please. Sounds really healthy, doesn't it?
New stems are cut off
It also means, that new stems still grow longer and longer, long enough to be caught by the double wires, I have described endlessly these last weeks, because they have required so many weekends by now.
The new stems must still be taken care of to keep the order in the lines. Necessary as it is to make it possible to walk in the vines and to pass the lines with tractors as well. Now it is the fast method though - cut-cut-cut - with the big scissor's.
The weather is very unsettled. Thunderstorms with violent downpours - in rather nearby Alsace destructive hail has occurred, Champagne has been spared until now as far as I know - occasional rays of sunshine, heavy skies, quite some wind - we get a bit of everything most days (apart from thunder, which doesn't occur every day). The rather cool temperatures mean, that the vines and the grapes don't develop as fast as we've seen in the beginning of the period of growth.
At the moment the arrow of vendange points at the period around September 1st.