Sad Sex

What?  I’ve heard tell of pity sex but….  🙂   Sorry for being cheeky but it’s a grey day and a little eye-catching levity can be a good tonic.  I am speaking about grapes after all.  Yes, it is sad to say that the propagation cycle for the vine is a dull thing.  Now, cherries on the other hand (as with most fruits) it is all about the show.  We marvel at the bountiful beauty of the bloom.  In contrast, I could walk you through a vineyard in full bloom and you would not even know it.  Seriously.  Now, with our mild winter and favourable spring thus far the vine buds (that hold the embryonic grape clusters, leaves, etc. that will make the 2017 vintage) are starting to swell.  The all important bud-break (and not all vines are equal in timing) could be as early as this weekend.  The Chardonnay Musqué and Cabernet Franc are showing the most advanced swelling thus far and the Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t really showing any at all.  Swelling is the quiet beginning of our season of growth.  Our vineyard manager Roman tells me that we are probably 7-10 days ahead of the normally expected bud break and that CAN be good.  Why?  It gives the vines the potential of a longer growing season to properly mature the grapes.  So why the apparent reticence?   Well, there’s this thing called late spring frost and it scares us silly.  An early bud break means the potential of new, tender vine tissues being being possibly exposed to a “burning” frost.  Not good.  Until approximately May 23rd, we worry about the formation of these late frosts.  After that time, we are generally safe and can move ahead with confidence….and a restful night sleep!  I always like to remind everyone that we are farmers and if you look up the definition of a “farmer” you will see, “one who constantly worries.”  Well, if it does not, it should say that!  🙂  So, very soon the new vine growth will emerge with one goal in mind – the best grapes possible for the 2017 vintage.   And if we can keep Roman from losing his mind with worry in the process then all will be well!  Don’t worry….I exaggerate.  This ain’t Roman’s first rodeo!!  🙂

Cheers, David