There are two types of pruning: gobelet style bush pruning, and pruning where the vines are attached to wires, or trellises (palissage).

The entire vineyard has gradually been restructured so as to transition from gobelets to trellised vines.

In 2012, 50 hectares of gobelets were changed over to trellises.


Benefits of trellises 

- Mechanical effect: better resistance to wind (valuable in a family vineyard that is regularly exposed to the Mistral)

- Increased leaf area (by lifting the branches)

There must be a minimum of 60.000 m2 per hectare of leaf area for the grapes to fully ripen.

- Decreased pollarding (removal of top growth): this only needs to be done once at the end of the season.


Soil enrichment

The basic principle is that we should try to give back to the vines what we take out, in the form of the grapes.

All of the Sumeire vineyards are therefore treated with organic or organo-mineral type fertilizer.

These fertilizers are authorized in the minimum use of pesticides approach (agriculture raisonnée). After pruning, the vine cuttings are shredded and returned to the soil; this humus also helps to restore nutrients to the soil.    



Spring ploughing 

Ploughing is essential in the spring to deal with the various weeds and grasses that appear with the warmer weather. This can be carried out between March and May.

We use a special attachment called a hirondelle ("swallow") that has the advantage of ploughing a wide, shallow area.


In May:  bud break.

The vines start to grow


Combating disease

This is when it is vital to protect the vines against diseases.

The two main threats are downy mildew and powdery mildew. When the risk is high, a treatment is carried out using products authorized in sustainable agriculture.

Lifting the branches

The shoots grow, and then spread out: this is when they have to be attached to the wires to optimize the development of the future grapes.

For a hectare of vines, 60.000 m2 of foliage is attached to the trellises.

This operation is carried out by hand, using clips made of biodegradable corn starch.


Mid-June: flowering

This is the most delicate period.

As a rule, there are now 100 days until the harvest.


End of July: ripening 

The bunches change colour, and the grapes begin to ripen. At this stage, there is no longer a risk of disease. 



The ends of the young shoots are cut off to enable better ripening. 


Final treatments before harvesting

The winegrower has to protect the bunches until they become "closed".

This has usually occurred by the 14th of July, after which the vine can defend itself unaided against fungal diseases.  

From this point, the vines do not require any further attention until the harvests.

The bunches have become fairly resistant and the vineyard is best left to itself, particularly as the growth of the leaves makes the passage of tractors somewhat hazardous.

The leaves are essentially sugar factories,  it's vital to protect them in order to obtain optimal ripening of the grapes.


Around 15 August, after the ripening (véraison), the point at which grapes begin to change colour, tests of the grapes' ripeness are carried out to determine when to begin the harvests.


The future harvest of young and recently planted vines 

Recently planted vines:

No harvest before the third year, except in the vin de pays category.

A manual green harvest is carried out before the start of ripening, so that the vine's sap is conserved.

Young vines (three years-old):

These are picked by hand for the first harvest.


The harvest  

There are two picking methods, depending on how the vines have been pruned.

For vines that have been pruned gobelet style, the harvest is carried out manually. Teams of pickers begin working at dawn and stop in the early afternoon, when it becomes too hot.

This used to be the traditional pruning style in Provence, but has now been abandoned in favour of trellising.

The trellised vines are harvested mechanically, at night, by the latest generation of harvester, which has an integrated sorting system.  

This "selective process" machine is able to pick and sort, removing 98,9 % of the green matter.

The choice of using a mechanical harvester was made after much consideration: the decision was finally taken in 2010, when it seemed that sufficient progress had been made for the quality of a mechanical harvest to be superior to that of a manual harvest. This is true in Provence because our primary goal is to preserve the fruit and freshness, and harvesting at night enables us to pick the grapes at an ideal temperature; furthermore, as the harvest is faster the grapes can picked at optimum ripeness.


After the harvest

This is the second big ploughing period: the soil is turned over after the harvest. The idea is to aerate the soil, so that the winter rain can penetrate. To do this, we use a "crescent moon" (or "melon slice") which enables deep ploughing.

When the first mistral comes, the leaves fall, heralding the pruning season and the arrival of winter: the beginning of a new cycle!

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Famille Sumeire, vignerons en Provence

1048, Chemin de Coussin

13530 Trets
Tél : +33- 0442612000

Fax : +33-0442612001

Directeur de publication : Sophie Sumeire Denante

Hébergement : 

Vinium Luxury Webdesign - 3, rue des Corton 21420 Aloxe-Corton -

Crédit photos : Serge Chapuis - Amélie Lejeune


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Sumeire Family, winegrowers in Provence

1048, Chemin de Coussin

13530 Trets
Tel: +33 (0)442612000

Fax: +33 (0)442612001

Publication director: Sophie Sumeire Denante

Web hosting: 

Vinium Luxury Webdesign - 3, rue des Corton 21420 Aloxe-Corton -


Photo Credits: Stéphane Chapuis - Amélie Lejeune


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