Les mots de la Vigne #2

« A new idea never prevails. Its opponents simply die, eventually. » Anonymous

« Understanding where we come from to move in the right direction. » (P. J. Héliaz) : the vine’s physiology

Late May and early June announce summer with temperatures rising, lots of light (unlike the past 3 years) and air, wind. If it did not rain in recent days, the morning dews are sometimes heavy.
This weather will maintain itself up until the full moon (Tuesday, June 2) and seems to want to hold until, at least, the 10th of June perigee, from which point, degradation is announced. To be monitored!

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Lumière , verticalité et vitalité pour les vignes en bio cette année !

As announced in the last newsletter, flowering is at its peak in the vineyard. During this delicate phase, vine offers all its energy to the flower and becomes temporarily vulnerable to the outside (weather, fungi, insects, injuries).
This year, the light allows for optimum photosynthesis ("sugar plants"), therefore energy resources appear sufficient. Good news! Especially if we have the past years flowering conditions in mind.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. » (A. Einstein) : the vine’s ecology

In the first issue, we talked about the "gesture of the vine." You can have a glimpse of it on these pictures taken in a young plantation a few days ago. It appears not only in the vine but also in the surrounding plants. Do you see the same movement, the same dynamics? Do you see the verticality, the vitality? And this light?

It is very important for newly planted plots to be sown!
The purple flower vetch brings nitrogen (this is a legume) and helps structuring the soil, so does the white chamomile and its special bond with calcium.
Cereals (barley and wheat here), besides their verticality, bring a sense of organization to the ground through their root system subtle, thick and deep.

All these plants accompany the vine in its "first steps". They brighten up plots with colour and welcome a host of insects and birds. In short, they transform a morbid place (or at least tired by the chaos induced by the planting) into a living and abounding place. The responsibility to orchestrate it into a harmonious place, now lies
with the winemaker who needs not forget his own sensitivity and objectives.

Note : I invite the most curious among you to have a peak at quantum physics... From Einstein to Haramein through Bobola, Schwenk and Schauberger, your neurons will have something to chew on for a good while. Then, when your internal hard drive (your mental self, your brain) will feel tired and overwhelmed, open yourself a
bottle of organic wine. There, throughout the tasting, the fruit will be guiding you through its vineyard, transmitting its vibrations, its colours and smells. You may even begin to hear its whispers! ;-)

« Take care leads understanding » (Anonymous) : support and protect the vineyard

The vine blooming, it’s time to surround it with loving and protective attention while intervening as little as possible. In more scientific terms, winemakers must be up to date in their treatments but avoid interventions on the foliage or tillage in this delicate period.

Given the beautiful weather, the flower could be blistering. Once completed, the following operationscan resume:

  • Refine removal of surplus shoots if necessary (remove regrowth on the trunk)
  • Possibly remove all the young leaves at the heart of vegetation
  • Pollard the most grown plots (cut the top which, by falling, would impede passage of the tractor)
  • etc

Tip of the day!

A ground worked in the morning will see its water evaporates whereas a ground worked in the afternoon (solar time) will retain its freshness.
=> If there is wind, working wet land in the morning will shorten its drying.
Keep your afternoons for drier land.

The plant extracts accompanying flowering :

Yarrow -> herb tea (may be prepared with dandelion)
Valeric acid and salicylic rich, soothes while accompanying defence mechanisms.
Regulates sulphur and potassium process, accompanies flowering process.

Dandelion -> herb tea (can be prepared with yarrow)
Contains salicylic acid, silica and potassium,
helps the plant preparing its flowering and fruiting.

For plots sensitive to cryptogams (mildew, black rot, powdery mildew):

Chamomile -> tea
Rich in sulphite, calcium and potassium.
Accompany defence mechanisms, thereby reducing climate ups and downs impact.

Horsetail -> fermented extract
Rich in silica, participates in the structuring of tissues and thus complement the activities of the nettle.
Anti-fungi properties (keep the mushrooms on the ground), completes the action of sulfur when temperature allow its activatation. Refracts light.

Oak -> brew
Rich in calcium and tannins.
Regulates fungal pressure (mildew) but be careful not to block the vine.

Note: Many books offer recipes and tips for preparing plant extracts.
Among them, Purin d’ortie et & - Éditions Terre Vivante is particularly rich in information useful in a garden.

The moon is related to the element WATER. It strongly influences liquids and water-dependent creatures such as fungi.

June 10th Moon at perigee, or closest to the Earth => amplifying its influence
June 16th New Moon, favoured time for the outward manifestation of the presence of fungi(sterile oil stains or fertile stains with conidia)

Forecast : Uncertain but rainy weather announced around perigee
=> Ensure good plant protection before and closest to the June 10th!!

Written by Albane Bervas
Organic and holistic winemaking consultant and tutor
Oenologist and Winemaking engineer.
Translated from French by Antoine Bervas