The vine

your training programme:
Enthusiasts
2. The vine

What are the approved grape varieties?

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There are 3 main grape varieties in Champagne.

Match each variety with its description.


1.

Did you know?

Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot blanc and Pinot gris are older but still approved varieties, accounting for less than 0.3% OF THE VINEYARDS.

 

Arbane

Pinot gris

What are the approved pruning methods?

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There are 4 authorised pruning methods in Champagne.

Identify the different pruning methods by matching their names with their descriptions.


What other vineyard maintenance tasks are there?

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As the shoots begin to emerge, a series of tasks known
as summer maintenance begins:

TYING-UP:
involves attaching the vine shoots
to the supporting wires.

Tying-up takes place just after pruning, in early April. The shoots are attached to
the supporting wires, using paper-covered wire or some other biodegradable material.

This is done by hand and requires to be speed and precise.

Desuckering:
refers to the removal of non-fruitful shoots.

Desuckering takes place in mid-May. It consists of removing any non-fruitful buds growing
on old wood that might divert sap away from the main buds.

Lifting the wires:
ready for the next task which is trellising.

When the branches are 50 centimetres long (late May), they must be raised
and contained between wires running some 30 centimetres above
the main support wires.

Trellising:
involves separating out the branches,
ordering and containing them between wires.

Trellising, which is done in June, prevents the leaves from crowding each other,
allowing maximum light penetration and encouraging air circulation
which prevents them from rotting.

Pinching back:
prevents the vine from producing too many branches
and too much foliage at the expense of fruit.

Pinching back is part of “summer pruning”.
It commences in late-June or early July, before or after flowering, and continues until harvesting.
It is performed at least twice and sometimes as many as four times in a season.

What is sustainable viticulture?

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Since 2000,
the Champagne region has been committed
to a policy of sustainable viticulture
with four major issues
for action:

Reduction of additives
and the control of risks
to health and environment

Preservation and enhancement
of terroir,
biodiversity
and landscapes

Accountable management
of water, wastewater,
by-products
and waste

Energy and climate
challenge to improve
the sector’s carbon
footprint

1.

Did you know?

In order to combat the grapevine moth, the use of chemical insecticides has been replaced by sexual confusion, which involves disrupting the mating process between male and female butterflies, resulting in fewer caterpillars.

 

Confusion sexuelle

Pheromone diffuser

Is vineyard yield restricted?

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Each year, the Comité Champagne sets the
maximum yield
for each hectare of vines, within the limit imposed
by European regulations.

Average maximum yield
over the past 10 years
13,500 kg/ha

The Champagne region has created a reserve system,
managed by the Comité Champagne which allows part of the crop
to be set aside in good years as a precaution against
future crop failure (due to frost, hail, etc.)
or exceptional demand (as in the year 2000).

Your next stage:

The winemaking process

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