February we were really busy pruning at Quinta do Espinho.
The pruning is an important task on the vineyard and is the cutting of branches and preview that this brunches don´t grow wild.
These control cutting of the leaves will allow cutting the cane and two shoots where the canes will grow and become two new branches
It helps the balance between the vegetative and productive functions of the grapevine, as it limits the number of shoots and brunches to be developed. From all the tasks in the vineyard, pruning is the one that have more impact on the quantity and quality of the wine production.
Pruning may differ according to the characteristics of the different grape varieties. Lately we are going back to the pruning traditional system the Guyote, where we have “vinha de tinta Francisca” example.
On the replanting of the vineyard side, this year was small, did not reach the 2% of the forty five thousand strains of the farm.
The replanting was mainly due to the decline of very old vines and lower maturity of others.
In March, a new vegetative cycle of the vine begins with “the weeping of the vine”. The vines that were pruned in the winter lose their sap and as the weather becomes warmer the enzyme activity of the plant begins.
After three to five weeks of this stage, the budburst or breaking of the buds starts. This vine stage is responsible for the first floral buds and the separation of the grape bunches.
Quinta do Espinho’s flowering period begun in the first weeks of May, nearly eight weeks after the budburst.
The dry and high temperatures of spring fostered the flowering and this whole new vine cycle.
The flowering lasts about ten days, it is the opening of the flowers. A successful pollination and fecundation is crucial to the production of a yielded fruit. Initially, some embryo bunches are developed and then small grains take the form of a pea bean, which will become a grape.
Our bee friends play an essential role in this stage; after all, spring is their season.
After the flowering, the grape bunches start a new maturing phase. We will comment on this phase at the end of June.
The flowering day “states” the grape harvesting day, because the later happens 100 days after the beginning of flowering. Thus, we expect to start the grape harvesting in the beginning of September.