Hope you’re having a fabulous week. Wanted to touch base and share some exciting news. WE ARE IN BUD BREAK!
Now, if you are not into gardening, or are as obsessed with wine as much as we are, you probably don’t know what that means. So I’d like to tell you a little about the wine growing cycle.
Thought wine is considered a yearly cycle, you’ll only see actual growth in your vineyards between the months of March and September; about a six month period. The other six months of the year consist of much dormancy, and preparation. We start watering our plants around the beginning of March, adding in nutrients and continue watering regularly until around August. So for anyone who thinks grapes need a lot of water, they really don’t.
During the life cycle of the grape vine, starting at the beginning of the year in January (in the Northern Hemisphere), you’ll see dormant vines without leaves that are resting and recuperating before the upcoming harvest. Allowing the vines to rest and be dormant for several months helps them relax from the strenuous season without water before, and replenish the needs of the vines such as nutrients from the soil and any additional water.
Then, once it starts getting a little warmer, we will starting pruning. Pruning is when we cut the vines to allow for new growth, and stronger growth. When we cut the older vines down, it allows for the nutrients to easily grow and strengthen the shorter vines. This makes the vines firmer and richer so they can hold more grapes during the season.
After pruning, we start to see little buds on the vines forming which become the stems, leaves and flowers. You’ll see these around now, end of March and they will grow through around May.
Once we get to May, we’ll start to see flowering. This is when little flowers start growing from the vine shoots that will eventually turn into grapes. This is a VERY delicate time period where we have to make sure the vines have enough sunlight, but not too much to where these flowers get burnt off.
Next, we’ll move into fruit set. This is the time period when fruit begins to form and you’ll see little grape bunches that are green. The vines are big and beautiful at this point with lots of greenery and leaves surrounding the fruit.
Then we have veraison. Veraison is the period of time where the grapes start changing color from their dark green to either a lighter green for whites or a purple for reds. It’s an exciting time to see these fruit are getting ready for harvest. This usually starts to occur in June and July.
Then, we wait. Once the fruit is the right color, we begin testing for sugars to make sure the wine is on track to have the right sugar content and is mature enough to be removed from the vine and turned into wine! This is usually from August to late October. At this point, the water is usually turned off and the grapes are left to hang and soak up as much nutrients and sugars they can from the soil.
And then, we pull! Time for harvest!
I hope you’ve learned a little about how wine grows! Don’t forget to grab some of our incredible 2017 Syrah and 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon and taste this journey.