It’s the middle of April and there is no bud burst as yet. We would usually see this around the third week of March, so we’re about three weeks behind this year.
The buds are either in First Swell or Full Swell. First Swell is probably about 3mm in height and the bud often has white down on it. Full Swell is starting to go over 5mm in height and is also turning pink.
The sap is rising though as I could see the vines ‘bleeding’ at the ends. It basically looks like a single tear at the end of the cane. The vines at the bottom end of the site still have watery sap which didn’t taste of anything. Some of the Chardonnay nearer the top are slightly more advanced: the sap is slightly stickier and sweeter in taste.
Thankfully there has been no damage from frosts. In fact Alex says she’s not had any late night texts from the automatic machine on the vineyard warning of dangerous temperatures. In about three weeks we’ll be in the clear and free from frost (or maybe not given our changeable weather). But the boujies and orchard burners are ready and waiting should they be required. Zero is fine, damage starts at around -3C.
I worked on Block B again today ( I think Alex likes me to work on the steepest bit of the site!) replacing canes on the Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, using the new biodegradable ties. Definitely not as quick as the tape gun but much more sightly.
Next time I go there should be some bud burst. The recent double figure temperatures are what we need and when things move, they will move quickly.