Inside Knights Bridge
Bud breaks in the vineyards
We're just one or two weeks away from bud break in the Chardonnay and 3 weeks away from bud break in the Cab. We should start to see the first leaves in the Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc in about 2 weeks
We're just one or two weeks away from bud break in the Chardonnay and 3 weeks away from bud break in the Cab. We should start to see the first leaves in the Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc in about 2 weeks. Bud break is when the vine comes out of its winter hibernation, and the leaves and embryonic grape clusters emerge. It is stunning to see the vineyard explode with activity in only a few short weeks. Eventually the buds flower and will go into 'full bloom.' At that point the young berries will be seen.
This is a critical time in the vineyard, as the new tender shoots are most susceptible to frost damage. The young budding tissue can freeze and we can lose most of our crop if that happens. Budbreak is highly dependent on soil temperature and the length of day. At Knights Bridge we usually see a soil temperature of about 60 degrees coinciding with bud break. During this time we will be on the lookout for certain pests in the vineyard, such as cutworm, Erineum mite, spider mites, and of course, mildew. At bud break we will spray an organic mixture commonly referred to as "Bordeaux mixture." This helps us get control over fungi like phomopsis and powdery mildew, in addition to lowering numbers of Erineum mite "blister mites" which can deform newly developing leaves.
Then there are the ever-present worries of other mitigating factors outside our control throughout the growing season - frost, wind, hail, mold, and other natural factors that can destroy these delicate flowers. The life of a grape farmer is an ongoing balancing act between nature and nurture. From what we see in the vineyard this year, we are excited by the possibilities.