Pruning is performed from December until March, and is a very decisive operation by affecting the shape of the vine and its future performance.
According to the AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape rules goblet pruning (generally, one man can prune from 10 to 15 ha over the 4 winter months) is obliged for Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Picpoul Noir and Terret Noir; goblet or bilateral cordon de royat trained with two wires are authorized for Grenache Blanc, Grenache gris, Picpoul Blanc, Picpoul Gris, Picardan, Clairette, Clairette Rosé, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Cinsault and Counoise.
For Syrah may be used goblet, bilateral cordon de royat or guyot with a long fruiting cane (0.6 m above the ground), with a maximum of 8 eyes. For vines less than 40 years, the maximum number of eyes is fixed at 12. For vines more than 40 years, the maximum number of eyes is fixed at 15. Generally, only goblet and cordon de royat pruning methods are practiced in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.