Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Bud Break, Yes & No
I was talking to Ron Silva on my way to his vineyards, which are about 20 miles northeast of Lodi, and his crew had just finished disking every other row. As he puts it, "We're about two weeks behind Lodi Proper" with not only bud break but most every other benchmark during the grape growing year through harvest. I could tell from looking at the Mourvedre vineyard, still no real sign of bud break, though just feet away, the Grenache was showing some great color. Like many environmentally frienly and sustainable growers, Ron uses cover crop that, when disked under, serves as a natural fertilizer, not to mention the cool flowers.
Look at last week's blog. Belle Colline didn't show bud break. Now, one week later, most of this Petite Sirah is still sleeping, but I did find some early birds. This example is just one of every 10-15 vines stretching its early Spring arms. Remember, Belle Colline is about 20 miles south of Ron's vineyard, and on a 250 foot hill.
Now to Al Bechthold's 125'ish year old Cinsault. We're now about 20 miles west of Belle Colline on a dry farmed vineyard (never watered). Bud break is definitely happening here. I brought my nephew, Joey Baumgardner with me today. Before we got to our third stop of the morning, he was ready for a Jamba Juice run, but instead I told him not until I showed him another Lodi gem. Between the amazement over the age of this vineyard, the trunk's twists & turns, holes in their trunks I could stick my fist through caused by unknown generations of incredible growing seasons, then a grand owl soaring by our heads and landing next to where we stood...I had to remind him when it was Jamba time.