If wine lovers wait patiently until the end of the year to discover new vintages, work in the vineyards takes place all year round. From January to December, winegrowers and winegrowers put all their know-how at the service of the vineyard, to produce the best wines. How about a little walk through the seasons in the vineyards of Provence ? Follow us.
Provence: a Mediterranean terroir suitable for viticulture
Provence benefits from a Mediterranean climate which is characterized by heat and frequent windy episodes. And if the autumn rains and summer storms bring good humidity, it is never excessive, thanks to the Mistral, which regulates it. This Mediterranean climate is ideal for the vines, which are protected from parasites and diseases, and which also benefit from the strong sunshine.
Rosé wine: a wine tradition of Provence
More than 90% of the wines produced in Provence are rosé wines . And for good reason, this wine region is the cradle of this festive and fresh wine, which draws all its richness from the sun and the generous terroir.
Throughout the year, we can observe the winegrowers working to produce this traditional wine. So, each step counts to ensure a quality rosé wine, from work in the vineyards to the harvest, and long after, in the cellars.
Provençal vineyards throughout the seasons
During a walk in the heart of the vineyards of Provence, you can observe different stages of the work of the vines throughout the seasons .
The vine in spring
In spring , nature awakens after a long period of dormancy, and the vine is no exception. The winegrower then sets about preparing the vines of his wine estate for a new harvest, through 2 essential stages.
- Budburst : in March, the first buds appear, and the leaves and branches begin to grow again. During this process, the sap, which had gone down into the roots to protect itself from the cold, rises in the vine until it flows at the end of the branch. It is then said that the vines cry, a sign of the awakening of the vineyard after the long winter months;
- Flowering : from the month of June, we see small flowers appear, which will later become pretty clusters of grapes.
During this period, the winegrower carries out several green works, such as trimming, topping, and disbudding.
The vine in summer
When the good weather comes, after the vineyard wakes up and the first flowers appear, the vines continue to develop.
- Fruit set : in July, the flowers transform into grape berries. Winegrowers are starting to have a more precise idea of the quantity of grapes, and therefore of wine, that they will be able to produce;
- Veraison : in August, the bunch of grapes grow and ripen, and the black grape varieties take on a pretty red color. During this stage of maturation, the grapes are enriched in sugars and become less acidic.
Throughout the summer, the winegrower monitors the grain and carries out green operations, such as leaf removal or thinning of the bunches.
The vine in autumn
After a long maturation process, autumn is a crucial time in wineries. The ripe grapes are then harvested, before leaving the vineyard to rest.
- The harvest : in Provence, the grape harvest takes place at the end of August, and lasts until the beginning of autumn. The berries are then harvested using different techniques (manual or mechanical, day or night), then they are transported to the cellar, where vinification can begin, to produce rosé wines, but also red wines and white wines. ;
- Vegetative rest : at the end of autumn, after the harvest, the vines rest. The leaves change color before falling. Then the sap goes back down into the roots, to protect itself from the coming cold.
The vine in winter
Throughout the winter, the vines are in winter rest, but not the winegrower, who continues to take care of the vines. He then takes care of pruning them, aerating the soil to facilitate the penetration of rain, and burying fertilizers and organic matter.
If the vine is dormant from late autumn to the arrival of spring, the winegrower never stops taking care of it. You can discover this long-term work by visiting the cellars of the Berne estate , where you will learn the different stages of viticulture throughout the seasons and the techniques for making AOP Côtes de Provence wines .