The cold of deepest winter is the time for vineyard work, and this year the cold has obliged beautifully. What you don’t want is hot sunny days when the vines bot (bud) early, only to die off when a cold snap hits. The reason is that they have used up valuable energy to bud and after the buds die off , have to go through the whole process again with diminished resources.
So last week after the hot snaps seem to have passed and in the near zero temperatures of late, Johan set up the two necessary winter processes.
First is skoffeling – that is weeding at the feet of the vines. Most grape farmers do this with herbicides and pesticides, but with our organic philosophy, we only do this by hand and spade, no matter how much more expensive this is.
The second job is pruning and for this we contact pruners through Johnnie Louw. It has been a pleasure to see how Johnnie began in an unstructured kind of way years ago and now runs a tight business. In the team come for just a week. They are well trained and make short work of the task
The pics below show these two processes and how the vines look after they have left