Mendoza, Argentina—"Once they get to be about 50 years old, we cut 'em off at the knees." Or more like at the ankles.
That's the way Argentine winemakers describe how they rejuvenate their old-vine Malbec. Almost sounds like a knee replacement for a vine!
Once the vines reach middle age (they can age well into their 100s), they are chopped off at the base of the trunk, a few inches above ground.
That allows the vine's root system to remain in tact underground; the stump of the vine is then retrained by taking a new shoot and reshaping it into a revitalized vine, where it's attached to the trellis. It takes a couple of years before the vines are productive.
Do you have a Wine Spectator magazine subscription? Save 50% on your Online Membership right now!
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions