Espaliered Apple Tree Recommendations for SW France
We have a property in SW France and want to plant a series (6 or 8) of espaliered apple trees against open supports (wires strained between vertical oak posts) to act as a natural separation between our vegetable garden and the lawns.
The climate is not unlike southern England but typically 5deg warmer in summer and 5deg colder in winter - so with periods of frost. Being against open supports, rather than a wall, the trees will also be more exposed to wind. They will face south (but obviously their backs will be open to the north). Prevailing winds are from the West and the site is semi-sheltered (surrounded by trees at a distance of about 20-30 meters, but not casting shade).
An irrigation system is in place to automatically water during extended dry spells as required (although Gascony is actually fairly green).
My main concern is whether trees espaliered against an open framework, rather than a wall, would be viable in winter. Can anyone confirm whether this is likely to work and, if so, what varieties of apple and root stocks would be most suitable for the climate and location? Probably an older variety is more likely to be hardy and resistant to problems than a more sensitive recent cultivar - but I'm not an expert.