Charles Lachaux is on a mission, and he is rapidly changing the viticulture at Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux.
The changes are truly dynamic, and during the last four to six months Charles has made radical moves that normally take years to complete. It is truly impressive.
Let’s take a closer look at Arnoux-Lachaux’s progress in its vineyards.
A visit to the vines
This past winter, I had an appointment with Charles focussed on seeing the progress in the vineyards. Sadly, COVID-19 prevented my trip to Bourgogne until the start of this month, when we had the chance to explore Charles’ endeavours first hand during an almost three-hour tour of the vineyards.
It was a truly magnificent field trip, capturing both the technical aspects and the more holistic elements like smells, wind, insects, and other biodiverse factors that are very important if one wants to understand the magnitude of the changes made at Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux. The biodiversity of the transformed vineyards is extremely impressive and captivating.
Beginning with a spring pruning
Arnoux-Lachaux decided to adjust – change, really – the pruning system from Guyot-Poussard to what Charles calls a “homemade” Gobelet-Poussard style.
This is a bit complex, so I will have to study it more closely. The photo below shows a newly pruned Gobelet-Poussard vine in the Romanée Saint-Vivant vineyard. We can see two main arms growing off the vine’s trunk. This helps keeps the sap and nutrients flowing from the roots to the new growth through a larger diameter of the trunk, ensuring healthier sapwood and helping to prevent wood-based diseases.
The new pruning system contains some different attributes, one being that it will support higher trellising; but furthermore, it supports the more work-intensive Paisseaux canopy – the Burgundian term for echalas trellising: each vine with its individual stake.
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