Guest PostTasteWines and Spirits of ProvenceWinter in Provence

Winter in Provence Means Pruning the Grapevines

This article “Winter Pruning: Why so Severe?” first appeared on Michèle Foster’s Think Pink Blog.

Pruning: Out with the Old

In wintertime, I find myself feeling a little sorry for the grapevines at the vineyards in Provence.

Winter Provence Pruning Grapevines

The pruning looks severe, but we know that grapes grow on one-year-old wood. Buds on older branches just yield leaves or shoots. So, we get rid of the old branches so we can get fruit on every branch in the next growing season.

Another pruning takes place during veraison (fruit ripening period) in the summer. This is where the grape bunches are thinned out so that all of the bunches will be well-nourished (and not exhaust the vine), and so they won’t be too crowded together, allowing air to move freely around them and keep them healthy.

There have been times in my life where I felt like a grapevine in winter – like life was treating me severely. But, in fact, I was being pruned so I could live a more vital and fruitful life! There are seasons in life where we need to let go of old things that are no longer serving us, and let new things come in that can revitalize us. Sometimes, when things or relationships are taken away from us, it is painful. Next time this happens to you, try thinking of it as a pruning. Consider that while it was a fruitful experience or relationship in its season, now a new season is here, and new things will come that will add to the abundance in your life.

Pruning is a severe but beneficial part of a grapevine’s life cycle, and it’s good for us, too.

Wine Pro Tip: Grapevine branches are great for BBQing! If you live near a vineyard, ask them to save you some branches next time they prune, so you can use them in your BBQ pit.

About Michèle Foster

Michèle Foster is the creator of Solière rosé, an estate-grown AOP rosé from Provence. Her passion for both Provence and rosé began when she moved to the region in 2007. Originally from Texas, Michèle has lived in Provence for 13 years. Passionate about Provence wines, she exports these drops of joy to the United States and offers an on-demand online course about Provence rosé.


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