Budbreak And Avoiding The Frost

So, while I’ve been gallivanting around the country showing off the Grand Reserve wines and leading seminars on blending, the vineyards have been quietly going about their work of preparing a new crop of wine grapes: budbreak has come to Sonoma County.

This winter has been very dry overall, punctuated by some warm temperatures and a very wet March.  We started to see budbreak in Chardonnay in front of the winery about two weeks ago.  The vines had been threatening to break for some time, which was cause for concern; a dry winter means there have been a lot of frosty mornings.  Once the buds push they are at risk of freezing, at which point we could lose a significant amount of crop.  Luckily, since budbreak there has been only one night with freezing temperatures.  (Knock on wood!)

The vineyard crews will certainly have more sleepless nights before we are out of danger.  In the meantime, enjoy the sights of buds popping in Chardonnay and Zinfandel in Sonoma County.

Zinfandel vines at budbreak.

Chardonnay vines at budbreak.