Thoughts in the pruning season

There are no entirely finished years in the life of a winery, after which we can sit back and take a deep breath. Even though we would think that during the winter months nature allows us to take a rest, cellar work continues nonetheless.

Despite the difficulties that weighed everyone down, 2020 was a particularly successful year for us, yet we can’t rest on our laurels even for a minute.

While the most recent and prior vintages are being constantly tracked in the cellar, pruning work in the vineyards is in full swing, we create blends, taste the ever evolving wines aged in barrels or tanks, ponder when the different lots will reach their best shape to then show them to our wine-loving audience. These days we are pruning the vineyards with the current year’s and even the next vintage’s crop in mind. All tasks take place in such a manner that our vines retain their outstanding condition for as long as possible, to be able to harvest the highest quality grapes from year to year.

In two wine regions, Sopron and Etyek we cultivate a total of more than 50 hectares of vineyards, which means we prune nearly 200,000 vines at the beginning of each year, one after the other, with the utmost care. Increased caution is much needed as we have planned the life of our estate and the fate of the wines in our business vision until 2033. In order to keep ourselves to these plans almost everything is determined in the vineyard. The pruning work at the beginning of the year is the foundation.

We think two years ahead on each pruned stock. We use the “Guyot” training system in our vineyards following the principles of the famous Italian agronomist Marco Simonit. At the beginning of each year we leave a cane on the ideally formed trunk - on which the annual crop will grow - and a renewal spur pruned back to two buds on which we expect the next year's cane and of course, crop. We have to decide for every single vine what to keep and what to discard. When removing a cane or bud, we consider the scarring process and its consequences. It is a trying and monotonous task that requires serious attention and concentration.

During a growing season each vine is touched by a human hand an average of 4-5 times. From pruning to shoot selection, through tying to harvesting. Thanks to our vineyard manager Dani Mészáros, the people working in our fields reach out to our cherished vines with understanding hands, striving to ensure our consumers can taste outstanding Kúria wines in every vintage.

We believe in, and work accordingly to the concept that a good wine is born in the vineyard. At the beginning of each year we set up a thorough plan with our plant health consultant to outline the defence procedures for the next growing season. Thanks to him we protect our plants with innovative solutions such as the use of Trichoderma harzianum preparations. It is an increasingly widespread species of fungus used in soil cultivation which is able to eliminate harmful fungi around the vine’s root system, thus minimizing the possibility of soil-borne diseases.

We do everything physically and mentally possible for the health of our vineyards and for high fruit. However working together with nature means that there are conditions which we cannot influence, such as the weather: the best we can do is hope for ideal circumstances. Slowly reaching the end of winter, pondering the upcoming vintage with our chief winemaker Sándor Mérész, we agree that “a month of hard frost would have come in handy”, but we are happy with the right amount of precipitation we’ve had so far and we are hoping for an excellent vintage like last year’s.

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