For me, wine is the adds up of the art of every little thing. From the vineyard, to the cellar, it never stops surprising me.
I have learned a lot from the farmer that the pruning in wintertime is to prepare the focused growth. But the continuous care is needed in every step of the growth that follows. Just a few weeks after the leaves have extended on the branches and the little buds have bursted into small bunches of grapes, the green pruning starts, or in other words, the vine leaves thinning.
Watching the skilled vineyard worker doing the "thinning" is like watching a music play. "How do you know which branches and leaves to thin?" I ask after having watched the act for a long while still not able to grasp the "rule of the thumb"... "oh, you can feel. you remove all the small leaves covering the lower trunk. When you move up, you can see where there are too many leaves, the air can not pass, and each gem suppose to hold one shoot only. and then close to the gem you take away just two leaves. That's it". Sounds pretty easy. I tried one myself, surprised how hard it actually is for beginners, perhaps is because of the fear and lack of confidence that I am picking the wrong ones... "How do you do so fast? Seems to me you don't need time to look and decide". Mitko laughed and exclaim: "I have been doing this for 20 years! When I am doing this plant.... " He then pointed to the next one, "... the corner of my eyes already looked at the next one and know exactly what need to be done there". Bravo! I said to myself. It's like playing the piano, you don't study the note one by one, your eyes catch the chords, sections ahead of your play, then the finger follows and flows....
There is an art in every little thing!