As you can see in the photo above, the vineyard is coming alive with beautiful green buds. I love this time of year and standing on top of the filter house gives a great overview of the vineyard. All the debris from pruning has been gathered and shredded. The rows are clean, the rye mowed and soon any remaining weeds will be removed.
We have chosen late bud breaking varieties meaning that they bud later in the spring than other varieties. This helps protect the vineyard from frost/freeze damage due to late spring freezes.
One of the first varieties we planted when we started the vineyard in 2008 was Roussanne, a French white grape. You can see the vines in the photo below and how on the cordon wire are the green buds the length of the row.
Bear with me because, when I begin taking photos of the buds, I have trouble stopping. Each one seems to call my name and each is so delicate and beautiful. The Roussanne buds below were just the beginning of the vineyard photo session of the day!
Aglianico (an Italian red) was the other variety we planted our first year and you can see the difference in the amount of buds pictured below compared to the Roussanne above - it has, overall, much longer shoots and more is budded out.
I love it when on such young shoots you can already see the bloom clusters where the grapes will be! In the very middle of the photo below, you can see blooms that look like tiny little grapes - well, they aren't yet, but they will be - Lord willing!
Here is a close up of a Montepulciano bud. You can see the bloom cluster growing at the very top of the leaves and also on the bottom left just in front of the cordon wire. Aren't the red tipped leaves pretty?
I don't want to overdo it on the vineyard photos but let me just show one more of the Petit Verdot buds. These vines have been hurt the last several years by the late freezes we have had so, this year we tried something a bit different to delay bud break. They were prepruned three times different times (each time cut a bit lower), precision pruned and finally handpruned. And, they are two weeks later than previous years in breaking bud - that is a big deal!
Here's to a wonderful growing season and bountiful harvest!