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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The 2012 season begins!

The grape growing season in Sonoma/Napa is off and running. Okay, not exactly running or even jogging. The first sign of life in the vineyards is underway with bud break on the vines in a few of the warmer areas.

Bud break
Image from

This is a couple weeks early due to the relatively dry and warm weather. Lots of plants are early this spring, not just the grapes.

This means nothing as far as the quality or quantity or wine grapes this year. What it does mean is a long frost protection season as the tender shoots can be damaged by cold nights. The most common means of protecting the vines is with wind machines to move the air or with sprinklers.

The good news is we're in a week long rain storm that should delay bud break in other vineyards and will supply much needed water.

The vineyard folks are pretty much on constant watch from now through October.

The seasonal cycle looks something like this (dates approx):

Bud break   late March
Bloom        June 1st
Fruit set     June
Verasion    late July-early August
Harvest      Sept-Oct