Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Budburst is still six weeks away

With Spring seemingly just around the corner, we are in the vineyard preparing for budburst. Grapes are one of the last plants to bud-out in spring. Our earliest variety is Baco Noir. In an early spring, budburst on this variety would be the last week of April. In a late spring-year bud burst for our Baco Noir would be mid-May.
We remove 90% of last years growth before spring-or budburst. Only the canes (or shoots) developed from the previous year are fruitful, and we only need 10% of what a normal year grows to produce a normal crop. If we leave too many buds, the grape crop will not mature properly. If we leave too few, we will encourage too much vegetative growth on the vines, and the fruit will not mature properly as well. As in many aspects of winegrape growing and winemaking, assuming cleanliness and timeliness of practices, balance is the key.

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