Sunday 29 January 2012: La taille
Well, the optimism of a couple of days ago was misplaced. Bitterly cold today, with a grey sky and icy wind. I hurried out well bundled up and took a handful of photos. I wasn't that keen on any of them, but it was either this or rice pudding and prunes.
This is a very ruined mazet -- just a couple of walls still standing. The pruning (la taille) is well advanced now. You can see that many of the old vines here are still pruned en gobelet, i.e. trimmed into a wineglass shape. This is going out of fashion very rapidly because the grapes can't be harvested by machine. New vines are planted en espalier, taller and trained on wires, with wider gaps between the rows -- you can just see the stakes in the plot behind the one in the foreground.
In the background, a viticulteur is off home for lunch in his blue van, after a morning spent pruning -- brr! You can see how windy it is by looking at the largest cypress.