Winter NON-holidays. Pruning of grapes is completed on the plantations of Chateau Chizay
Winter cold is not the time when Chateau Chizay growers rest. The wine-growing season does not start in the spring, but at the beginning of the calendar year. All operations with the vine are important, the way how the vines are pruned in winter determines their development during the season. And on the three plantations of Chateau Chizay, winter pruning of grapes continues, which usually starts after the first severe frosts.
“This is a very important operation for care of the vine. Proper pruning forms a grape bush so that it grows well and at the same time is ventilated and receives plenty of sun,” says the Director of viticulture of Chateau Chizay Gennadiy Vachylia.
Now Gennadiy takes care of the vines of Mala Gora, a 70-hectare plantation near Berehovo. This microterroir is called the most beautiful vineyards in Ukraine.
Chersegi Fueseres, Traminer Pink, Gewürztraminer, Muscat Ottonel, Rhine Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and others grow here.
The employees work on all areas of Chateau Chizay`s vineyards in Transcarpathia: on Mala Gora, in Zavydove (Mukachevo region) and in Midianytsa (Irshava district).
The foreman of winegrowers Ivan Pogoriliak says:
“Today I am dealing with Traminer Pink. It is quite easy to prune. But that’s not why it is one of our favourites. It is from this grape, of Italian origin, in addition to fragrant dry wine, the legendary “Rose of the Carpathians“ is born.
We do not make it every year, because the maximum sugar content of berries is required to make this vintage dessert wine. And after picking grapes and making wine, the future “Rose” will spend at least another 24 months in oak barrels in our warehouse to become perfect.
Working with the vine is not easy and responsible. We work equally diligently and lovingly with each variety. ”
Ivan shows an interesting nuance: the shoots of the vine, which are cut from the bush, are piled by growers in the middle of the row. Later, a tractor equipped with a special device will pass here and grind the cuttings and turn them into mulch, a mass that will become a natural fertilizer for the soil. This is one of many ecological practices of Chateau Chizay Winery, which professes a careful attitude to nature.
“We use single pruning system in all vineyards. This is the so-called two-shoulder border, when we form two main branches of the vine, coming from one trunk. As a result, this method allows the bush to form so as to be protected from diseases and pests. Hence, it will require less intervention and processing. And with winter pruning we begin to influence the yield of each bush,” explains winegrower Gennadiy Vachylia.
The technology of winter pruning of grapes corresponds to the strategy of limiting the yield, which is implemented by the Winery. Thus, the growers of Chateau Chizay deliberately reduce the number of bunches that will give each bush of vines.
“Our priority is not the number of grapes, but its highest quality. The task is to achieve the maximum quality and the best saturation of nutrients of each berry. Everything is for a wonderful future wine that will delight connoisseurs in Ukraine and abroad. By the way, we control the technology, the rate of pruning, work with each variety at daily online meetings with the participation of our consultants from Tokaj region (Hungary). Our viticulture division is constantly improving its knowledge and applying the leading methods of working with vines,” says Gennadiy Gutman, the founder of Chateau Chizay.
The Company grows 272 hectares of grapes of European and local varieties, creates wines only from its own harvest and is responsible for the quality of each drop of Chateau Chizay wines.