Replanting in Autumn of 2015

Replanting in Autumn of 2015 Any news from Nico? He sent me a photo today of Hautes Maiziéres, it looks great. Once harvesting is finished, we make holes in the vineyards, meaning we uproot any dead vines. We do this immediately after harvest while there are still leaves This allows us to see the state of health of the vines, and to easily spot the dead ones, which no longer have any leaves. Here's how it works: we make a hole with an auger, these holes we made in mid-September, it's now early December, So we're going to place the new vine in the hole. Backfill the hole and put a stake on either side of the vine, to protect it when we come to plough the soil. It's now early December which is when I prefer to do replanting. There are two different approaches to replanting: co-planting... this means each year we dig up the vines that are dead or non productive, and replace them with new vines. or we wait until the vineyard production goes down to an uneconomic yield, then we dig up and replant the whole plot. Presently the estate covers 14 hectares, that represents around 150,000 vines. We replace nearly 2000 per year, meaning around 1.5% per year. It is rare, but in December 2009 we did have a severe frost. This affected a plot at Vosne Romanée, in the Vosne Romanée les Clous vineyard. We were obliged to dig up the whole plot. We did this in December 2011, we will replant the entire plot in 2016, after letting the soil rest for 5 years. These rare exceptions aside, we prefer to co-plant each year. A grapevine is composed of two parts: the rootstock, which goes in the ground and from which the root system grows, and the scion here which grows above ground, and produces the grapes. Around this root system, the root stock, we have an area of soil... and today we're working with vines which are mycorrhiza: mycorrhizae are tiny fungi which grow on the root system, and which permit the roots to excavate the soil more effectively, and to better absorb the nutrients present in the soil. The only input is the compost, delivered by the nursery, it's simply a preparation of mycorhizae, and there's no need to add fertilizer. As we plant the vines we decide how to orientate the bud, so we've decided that all the buds will face the mountain. The idea is simply to have all the canes grow in the same direction. And when we prune we always try to bend the canes... in the same direction. This is to avoid entanglement of growth between two neighbouring vines. We see the cane here set in this direction, on the next vines the cane is attached the same direction. So we can clearly see the two individual vines. We won't have entangled vegetation so the vines will air well... and be better protected against mould, along with the kind of conditions... detrimental to the hygienic quality of the grapes. Here's a vine we've just planted, the bud that's been retained... will break out next spring, we have decided to orientate all of them with the bud pointed toward the mountain. Let's not lose sight that the vine is still a plant, so there's the theory, I just explained, that we want the vine to do the right thing, meaning grow in the right way, but what it actually does, the reality on the ground, is often quite different.