Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I mentioned recently how the vineyard workers are replacing older, diseased vines in the vineyard parcels with new ones. The new vines are tiny, about six inches high. They are, like most grape vines in France, grafted vines, meaning that the root stock is one variety that is resistant to the scourge of phylloxera, and the growing vine above it is a traditional French varietal, either sauvignon (blanc), or cabernet, côt, or gamay (rouge).

Sleeves around new vines are held in place by thin metal stakes in the ground that hook over the lower support wires.

The new vines have what looks like a red waxy coating on them which dissolves away as the vine grows. I should have taken a photo of that, but I didn't. To protect the new vines from hungry animals and cold weather, they are planted inside a foot-high sleeve. The sleeves will stay on for a year or so. Next spring, as the vines start to leaf out and produce tendrils, they'll poke above the sleeves, reaching for light. I'm happy to see growers investing in their vineyards, especially the ones around us.


  1. Another reminder of how much year-round work it takes to maintain a vineyard. I didn't know about the waxy coating. Is that additional protection from bugs and disease?

  2. I love seeing this kind of activity. And thanks for the closer look and the mini lesson.

  3. Walt,

    I don't know whether it was on France 2 or TV 5 where I saw that some vineyards are changing the varieties of the grapes wrt climate change . They were saying that pretty soon northern France could be producing great wine.

  4. This is a great idea! I planted some pea plants, and the birds (those peasky wild turkeys) have mowed them down. I am going to see if i can figure out how to do this for those that are remaining. Thanks Walt!

  5. stuart, they work all the time. It's amazing.

    mitch, busy, busy, busy.

    t.b., yes, they say that certain varietals might be planted farther north than ever in the coming years.

    christine, let me know how it works out. Send photos!


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