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Bud Break in the Vineyards

Posted by JackWilson in Food on April 30th, 2020

The passing of winter brings warmer temperatures and a renewed vitality to all forms of life- and vineyards are no exception. With spring weather comes the process of “bud breaking”, and although the name sounds like it could be a problem, it is quite the contrary. Wine producers in the best vineyards in Napa wait patiently for spring to arrive and the process of bud break to begin. It is the birthplace of the rich aroma and fruitful flavor of wines like your favorite Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. The transformation begins when the bare, brown grapevines spring to life and release all the energy they have been storing during the winter, as the inaugural leaves of the season begin to flourish. These leaves have been densely stored throughout the winter, saving the energy needed to burst through when spring arrives. The process is also known as bud bursting, fittingly enough. 

Which Months Does Bud Breaking Occur? 

Knowing when bud break occurs depends on a couple of different things. Firstly, temperatures can dictate whether bud break begins in mid-February or mid-March. Also, the type of grapes being grown can have an impact. Your favorite Napa cabernet sauvignon vines experience their bud break three weeks after the chardonnay vines. But while the timing in which they sprout differs, they share a common quality when they do and blossom with beautiful green leaves.

Protecting Plants From Harsh Temperatures

Because spring can be volatile with temperature changes, farmers must do what they can to make sure the vineyards are protected against those last bits of winter climate popping up. All it takes is for the temperature of the buds to drop below 32 degrees and the entire season is lost. No one wants to take this devastating hit so customized wind machines are installed in the vineyards to help push down the warmer air. Sprinkler systems are also used and are run throughout the night. The water forms a protective ice coating around the buds as the temperature naturally drops in the evening. This helps to maintain the temperature at 32 degrees and saves the harvest from spoiling. 

This careful balancing act to maintain optimal conditions is what allows Grgich Hill to have the best vineyards in Napa. Although the weather is still a big factor in the final outcome, Grgich Hill uses our year of experience and precision to bring you the best wines in all of Napa. 

 

Article Source: Bud Break in the Vineyards

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