So what is dormance? It’s what the vines go into in the winter. Those plants work so hard throughout the growing season. First the buds break, and then spurs are grown; after that small green leaves start to appear, which grow bigger. Flowers arrive and then tiny clusters of new berries that look like tiny green peas. The leaves continue to grow, as do the clusters of berries. Towards the harvest the berries will change in colour; the green turning to yellow or red. Harvest time comes along and the bunches of grapes are removed.
As though nature has understood that its job is done for another year, the leaves change colour, and then fall to the ground. With the arrival of the first frosts the plant will start its winter phase of dormance. There is no longer anything happening above ground, so the sap descends into the roots to protect them over the winter. That’s where we are now. Pruning has happened almost everywhere. All that is visible in the vineyard are small blackened stumps and it’s almost impossible to believe that there will be luscious bunches of grapes come September. But that’s the miracle of nature.
For now, we are all snug at home, ‘hibernating’. It’s cold and grey, and everyone just wants to sit by the fireside drinking hot chocolate (or Clos de Vougeot!) We are just like those vines, waiting for the cold winter to pass, protecting ourselves from the harsh conditions and waiting for the spring to arrive. We too, are in our ‘dormant’ phase!
Miss Pinot Noir