École Nationale Supérieure des Sciences Agronomiques

Pruning: It’s Important!

8 March 2018

Pruning lesson on a cold spring day helps cement theoretical lessons.

All MBS 1 students breathed a deep sigh of relief when they woke up last Tuesday to a dry, albeit chilly, morning. A very wet Bordeaux winter had granted them a sunny day for a highly-anticipated lesson: pruning class with the renowned viticulturist Jean-Philippe Roby! The practical exercise was prefaced by a theoretical lecture on the fundamental principles of pruning: crop load balance, vigor, and bud structure among others. But it was really in the hands-on work at Château Luchey-Halde, BSA’s winery, that drove home the concepts. Professor Roby began by demonstrating the two types of training systems used at the château, and explained how to approach a vine for pruning.

Then each student, armed with pruning shears (dangerous!), worked in pairs on individual rows.

Admittedly, the first vines pruned by the students will never be mistaken for those pruned by professionals, but even after the second or third plants, students were beginning to really understand how to think about pruning. After a few hours of work, everyone was chilled through but excited about what they had seen. Let’s hope everyone learned well, they will certainty need those pruning skills for their viticultural internship this summer!

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