Bird takes advantage of Goblet pruning in the old carignan
The Cevennes viewed from the vineyard – It feels like Spring is sprung , but its too early. If we get a freeze it will be catastrophic for the buds.
There is a small but growing gang of natural wine makers in Souvignargues. They are part of the “Quilles ( skittles ,slang for bottles )De Joie” association . Vicky and I offerred to cook for their annual general meeting last Thursday .
It was very convivial – we were warmly received and the dinner was a great success.The ingredients included shoulders of lamb from the mountains of the Cevennes and lots of vegetables and flour milled from wheat grown at Mas De La Font Rond in Villevielle , the neighbouring village
The number of different wine styles  , grape varieties, wine making techniques, back grounds of the vignerons, terroirs from such a small community is astonishing. One thing they all have in common is zeal for the health of their soil and vines.
Amongst the rising stars is Laurent Bagnol. I have been working with him on the pruning. This is probably the hardest part of the year – he reckons on pruning 1000 vines a day . I reckon I can do half that provided I dont drink at lunch time- to be fair I dont have the 1500 euro electric shears- I’m on manual at the minute.
We are  the Carignan which is the easiest to prune. He is in the process of turning this vineyard back from ” double cordon” trained out along wires to “goblet” the traditional shape. Goblet  allows the vine to shade the fruit which is very important in the scorching heat of summer and keeps the fruiting growth close to “pied” or foot of the vine and the ground allowing better uptake of nutrition.