Winter is coming to an end and the plant, the vine, is starting to come ‘alive’ again. In some vineyards you can already see the first ‘weeping’, which is actually an exudation that occurs in the pruning wounds in late winter or early spring, particularly on hot days. In this regard, the rise in temperature causes the sap that spills from recent pruning cuts to rise.
In Familia Martínez Bujanda we are finishing with the pruning –“The vineyard begins to prune for San Blas (February 3),” says the proverbial saying.-However, this operation can and should be done in advance, as soon as the first cold weather of winter arrives, so that the wounds can heal properly. On previous occasions, we have already dealt with this process, which is undoubtedly one of the most important for the quality of the future harvest.
In this sense, winter pruning (there is another ‘pruning’, summer pruning, called green pruning, which we will describe later) basically consists of removing the shoots from the plant to modify the natural growth of the vine and adapt it to the needs of the winegrower and the winery. At Familia Martínez Bujanda usually works with yields clearly below the legislation of the appellations of origin in which we are (Rioja, Rueda and La Mancha).Pruning is essential for controlling the production of our vineyards and for the balance of the clusters and the vegetation. Thousands of years ago, the Greeks and Romans wrote winegrowing manuals on how to prune, so there is little more we can say about the importance of this field work.
After the ‘weeping’ of the vines, the next phenological stage we will encounter is ‘bud break’. Bud burst refers to the moment of sprouting, which normally occurs in spring and is manifested when the buds begin to swell and the flock, a cottony substance that gives its name to this moment of the cycle, becomes visible on the outside.
Sprouting, and also the moment in which it occurs, will be very important for the quality of the future wine and, once again, the proverb, the popular wisdom, offers us the keys:
“El vino de marzo pal’ amo; el de abril pa’ mi, y del mayo pal’ diablo.”
. In other words, the most suitable sprouting occurs in April.