There are few moments along a growing season’s viticultural timeline that generate the same kind of excitement as budbreak. Veraison, certainly. Harvest, of course. But budbreak comes first, and with it comes Spring, and accordingly, it occupies a uniquely symbolic place.
In the vineyards of Ridge, we have budbreak. Confirmed, indisputable budbreak.
It’s actually a hard moment to pinpoint; in fact, it’s impossible, really, because it doesn’t actually happen all at once. It happens sequentially, emerging in different places at different times. Accordingly, “declaring” budbreak is actually a pretty subjective game.
I had the chance to talk with our Monte Bello Viticulturist Kyle Theriot this morning about exactly this phenomenon, and here is what he had to say about 2013 so far:
“Taking a look at our Phenology reports from last year, I’d say we are a couple weeks ahead; give or take. I marked 50% bud break in the Jimsomare Chardonnay April 4th in 2012, and did so last week for 2013. I gave Merlot 50% budbreak in late April of 2012, and Cabernet early May. So, at this point I’d say we are a couple weeks ahead across the board.”
To accent the point, here is a close-up of our own Cabernet vine, taken late afternoon yesterday:
Things are getting very exciting at Lytton Springs as well. Here is our Zinfandel vine as of this morning:
And a detail:
Oh, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,
a beautiful day in the neighborhood …
Please stay tuned as we follow our lovely vines through the 2013 vintage!
We’re twelve weeks in to-date, and for a quick look back, please enjoy the links below:
(if you’re following #RidgeVineyards on Twitter, you can also track VineWatch 2013 by specifically filtering for the following hashtag: #VineWatch13)