a lesson in pruning musigny…


Eric Bourgogne of de Vogüé graciously gave me a lesson in pruning in Musigny today – it’s impressive the attention to detail that Eric has; quickly removing spare buds and generally tidying the ‘pieds’ and spotting the camouflaged caterpillars. I think it was probably a good idea that he never actually handed me the secateurs!

Two things to note as they come to the end of their pruning; despite the cold snap in January, -10°C doesn’t seem to have dissuaded the caterpillars (pictured) that eat the buds of the vine – in some plots Eric has rarely seen so many. Also I could easily see the difficulties of both pruning and training the vines due to last spring’s frost – not all, but close to one in 10, of the cordon trained vines (one baguette) are very difficult to train in the required directions. It seems much easier in the vines which have the double cordons – which is about two thirds of de Vogüés plantings…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 2 responses to “a lesson in pruning musigny…”

  1. Mike Golub23rd March 2017 at 6:58 pmPermalinkReply

    Great shots! He removes the caterpillars by hand? Biological controls are available.Do you know the
    yield per acre?

    • billn23rd March 2017 at 8:26 pmPermalinkReply

      If he or or any of the 20-strong pruning team sees them – of-course by hand. There was a big flock of biological controls waiting in the trees at the top of the vines while I was there – birds – there’s not much else available on the biological side when they begin to hatch – some already at the end of January when the frost stopped. Otherwise they use no chemical methods…

      Yield of caterpillars per acre? 🙂 This is Musigny so it’s rarely more than 30 hl/ha – last year due to the frost it was well below 10 hl/ha. They had total domaine yields of 20-25% of normal.

  2. Liam Cabot23rd March 2017 at 10:18 pmPermalinkReply

    Hi Bill, are they de Vogue double Guyot (almost spur?) vines in the background in the photo back to the Chateau? The soil treatment looks very different – just curious? Liam

    • billn23rd March 2017 at 10:25 pmPermalinkReply

      Hi Liam. Yes indeed – the domaine is about 2/3rds double and one third single cordon. Where you see a difference is between the single baguette chardonnay and the double cordon pinot in the background. The youngest vines are pruned and trained last. The doubles are very close to the ground so I guess it’s harder to cut the grass and herbs below vs the chardonnay in the foreground – but all parcels are ploughed, and many with a horse – but I don’t recollect seeing any parcels that have been ploughed yet – they are left with a crop cover over the winter season, and once trained then they then start the ploughing.
      Hope something here helps !

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