Napa Valley Grapegrowers have announced that bud break has begun in Napa Valley, marking the beginning of the wine grapegrowing season.
Buds on Chardonnay in the Carneros AVA are swelling and bursting. These are the first signs of bud break. In the weeks to come, when the weather gets consistently warmer, the sap will start flowing and the vines will wake up. Bud break will really start to take off then.”
Compared to last year, bud break is about a week and a half later due to the winter rains. Over the 2018-19 winter, significant rain storms soaked Napa Valley soils. In total, the valley saw an average of 35 inches of rain between November and February.
The soils have already absorbed all the water from the winter rains. We’re not seeing any stagnant water remaining out in the vineyards, which means the soils needed the saturation,
The combination of springtime temperatures and ample water has created a spectacular mustard and cover crop bloom throughout Napa Valley.
The cover crop has grown in well and is looking very healthy.
Done throughout the first three months of the year, pruning creates vine balance, influencing grape yields and fruit quality. When pruning, 70 to 90 percent of the previous year’s growth is removed and select cane or spur positions are left. From the remaining buds on the vine, budbreak takes place, resulting in new growth and the start of the growing season.
To start the growing season off with full reservoirs and soil profiles is ideal. Everything thus far is looking great and a busy 2019 growing season is anticipated.