What a Difference Two Years Makes!
After traveling through a particular city or town, I often ask myself if I will ever visit that place again. Will the same people be there? Will it be completely different? In the case of our visit to Bormes-les-Mimosa in the South of France, the answer was a resounding 'yes'. We first visited Bormes for 4.5 months in 2011 to work in a garden overlooking the Mediterranean in exchange for accommodation. In front of our small flat (a converted greenhouse), were a few vines that we would be tending to. When we found them they were pretty gnarly and hadn't been tended to for a long time. Above are the results of the considerable pruning and training of the arms we did on the vines. Due to considerably cooler temperatures throughout 2011, the vines hadn't had much growth or produce considerable fruit by the time we left in early August.
When we returned to Bormes at the end of July '13, we were pleased to see the vines had benefited from the pruning and bore multiple grape clusters with plump, juicy berries. By trimming excess sections of the vines 2 years prior, the vines wasn't over-extended and was able to focus more on fruit production. In addition to it being a more mild year, the vines looked much healthier and didn't have any signs of mold or disease. After this experience I truly have a greater appreciation for the challenges French winemakers have making wine in their own country with minimal intervention!