The growth cycle of a grapevine involves five basic processes each year:
- Bud break.
- Fruit set.
We stress the word “basic” because each “process” is extremely involved, and any number of factors along the way can have a big effect on the ultimate health of the winegrapes and, by extension, the quality of the wine made from the grapes.
Bud break—which signals the beginning of the grapevine’s growth cycle, takes place each spring.
Bern Williams: “The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created spring.”
Rainer Maria Rilke: “Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”
And my favorite spring observation of all, courtesy of that crazy comedian, Robin Williams: “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”
Williams actually is somewhat of an expert on spring as it pertains to the farming of winegrapes. He owns a vineyard 1,800 feet up on Napa Valley’s Mt. Veeder. The 26-acre spread is known as the Pym Rae Vineyard, Pym and Rae being the middle names of two of his children.
And even though spring in the Northern Hemisphere will not begin until next Tuesday, bud break already has begun in California’s Sonoma County winegrowing region.
Check out a detailed report from the local Press-Democrat newspaper here.
At this time of year in wine country, hope springs eternal.