Mark and I have been hard at work pruning the grape vines brutally so that they’ll grow new shoots in spring. It really is quite a cruel looking process, the amount of ripping, severing and cracking of bark that it involves. But once you get the hang of it, it can be quite a meditative, zen-like thing to do.
The vine looks like a crucified figure, first you unwrap both old “arms” off the wire. Then starting at the crown of the vine, the bulb like thing where all the branches come out of, you look for the two most promising new branches, one on the left and one on the right of the crown.
Once you’ve identified those two best leftie and rightie contenders by counting the number of buds on them, you then take those 2 new branches and wrap them gently to the left and right of the crown, crackling all their external bark, round the wires and tie them into place.
But wait, you’re not done yet! You also have to identify two new successors for the year after next and leave two buds in promising locations while cutting off all the other superfluous branches off the crown so that the vine doesn’t waste its energy sprouting grapes from those branches.
Confused yet? Well you’ve never heard such profanity as that which was uttered while we were pruning! I’m sure the wine will have a certain salty aroma. Perhaps we can call it Tourettes Estate.
So after you’re done pruning, you’re left with heaps and heaps of vines. What to do?
Well, make a decorative floral vinewreath of course! Please observe my handiwork below, seductively curled around the base of the Curly Kale arrangement (who knew Kale could be so pretty?)