Planting takes place in spring
Here, we focus on managing vineyards that will produce wines for distillation.
Parcels destined for producing table wines or must for Pineau des Charentes are managed somewhat differently: higher vine density, limited load and yields, green harvesting, etc.
Before planting, the soil is prepared to create a favorable environment for the seedling’s development. The soil is plowed and then analysed so that any imbalances can be corrected.
In the spring, naked-root seedlings (or, more rarely, potted seedlings) are planted.
Young parcels receive attentive care: watering, weeding by hand between vine stocks, staking, protection against rabbits and other rodents etc.
The third year of growth (counting the year of planting as the first), the young vines are considered established and begin to produce.
Watering vines under production is prohibited.
To be entitled to the appellation d’origine contrôlée “Cognac”, wines distilled to make wine spirits must be produced from vines no younger than two years after the year in which they were planted, which must be before the 31st of July.
Choice of rootstock depends primarily on two criteria: limestone content of the soil fertility of the soil according to desired production level.
The choice of rootstock depends primarily on two criteria: the limestone content and the fertility of the soil.
Soil analysis also enables an assessment of the soil’s tendency to induce chlorosis, which will determine which rootstock to use (chlorosis is an iron deficiency that causes yellowing of the grape leaves).
The primary rootstocks used in the Cognac vineyard are usually limestonetolerant and make the scion fairly vigorous. RSB is the main rootstock.
RSB is not widely used in other regions.
Other rootstocks used are Fercal and 333 EM. 41B, often used in the past, is barely used at all today. In less chalky areas, SO4, P1103 and even 3309 or 101-14 can be found.
In instances where vines were previously planted in a parcel, it is best to wait several years before replanting, which is difficult for growers who only grow grapes for wine. It is sometimes necessary to disinfect the soil to prevent the new parcel from becoming infected with viruses.