Budbreak Early 2018
Although pruning the grapevines is a long and very labor intensive task, winegrowers and laborers endure it each year. Vines go into winter dormancy in November or December losing their leaves and leaving only bare cane shoots in their canopies. Though not the most fun time to be laboring in the vineyards, it is the ideal time for the vines to be pruned of their old wood. Vineyard pruners spend the winter season hand-cutting the vine’s canes from the previous growing season. Their goal is to leave the precise number of buds to create a balanced crop once the grapevine awakens from its winter dormancy. This call the growth of new buds is budbreak and it usually occurs right around the beginning of spring.
However pockets of vineyards across the county have began to awakened early from their winter slumber by February’s mild, dry weather. Now that March is here we will continue to look to budbreak’s traditional onset in mid-March. I’ll be posting budbreak photos from the various AVA’s on our Facebook page soon.