Douro Valley pruning time
Every winter is pruning time here in Douro Valley. This agricultural work is one of the most important activity in the cultivation of the vine.
What do people in the Douro Valley live for?
This is one of the top questions that I always ear from tourists. For many of them the only work in a vineyard is the harvest. That’s quite normal for someone that is arriving from other places where the vineyard culture is not common.
I don’t know anything about the coffee culture and probably I will be simplifying if I think that to take a nice cup of coffee we only need to harvest and burn the coffee grain.
With the vineyard is the same we are talking about a complex and hard working culture.
Beginning of the annual cycle of the vineyard
In January we are in the beginning of the cycle.
After the harvest season that take place between September and October, the Douro men and women are focus in the wine. Is time to make all the fermentation controls, wine corrections in the winery, transfilling and filtration’s. Is also time to sell wine for Christmas. Here in Douro Valley you need to be a multi-task person, either in the field or in the winery.
We are in January and is time to go again to the vineyard, is time to prune.
Some people already start, but the tradition tell us to begin after the olive harvest. The long and dry branches are still in the plant and is necessary to cut them, to allow the growth of the new ones. The vine like this because that is going to make her strong and productive.
Some people here say that who invented the vine prune was a donkey that was eating the old branches. Could be a reality or just a fairy tail, but is absolutely indisputable the need of that, if you want to produce high standards wines.