Winter- After harvesting it is the most beautiful moment for vines: they begin to rest; the vineyard slows down all its metabolism, with the cold leaves fall down; roots work very little, the plant falls asleep, we could even say it hibernates.
It is a fundamental period for the plant; it is needed for the development of the buds that in the following spring will bring the next bunches of grapes, a process that happens without the help of man, mother nature does everything.
Pruning is the only necessary action. All the shoots that are not needed are removed and the vine is left with a bud load that is appropriate to the production that you want to do, that is a number of 10, 12 "knots" up to 15, 18 on the pergola (short pruning). In winter the bud is hard, woody; towards March, April, with the vegetative awakening, the bud swells, makes a silky patina, "the bud is cottony, it is said, similar to cotton wool". With temperatures high enough and moist soil, the vines begin to bud and "from there we get into a new productive vegetative year."
If the winter is very harsh, it is actually a good thing; in fact, the more the ground freezes the more the vine rests; a 50 cm snow cover would be ideal, protecting the ground." Vines can withstand up to minus 18°C.
If now the temperatures would start to rise again, the vine would start to produce sap or it would wake up, which in this period is very dangerous: if at the end of February or March there would be a frost, it would be a disaster because no grapes would be produced. In danger would not only be the harvest of one year. If the vineyard begins to make buds, it means there is a lot of water inside. With two or three very cold days the sap inside the vine would split and the plant would die.
Now you know something more about the vineyards and the Winter time!