Well, we had New Years in March, and now I guess you’d say it’s Epiphany. The vines have started to bloom over the last week or so. Pretty spectacular, huh? Well, uh, on second thought…
So, don’t bother rushing out here to see the romantic flowering of the vines. This is a bloom only in the technical sense. And they have no scent – these fuzzy little flowers couldn’t possibly attract a thing.
And that’s OK. The grape flower is hermaphroditic, meaning that the blossoms are self-pollinating. They contain both the male, pollen-producing staminate and the female, seed-producing carpelate. This means we don’t have to worry about attracting bees or rely on the wind to carry the pollen. Quite convenient. We only worry about the weather, and so far the weather, if not the flowers themselves, has been spectacular. Mild and agreeable–and dry–which bodes well for cluster set. Uniform cluster formation means Geoff, our Winemaker, may just have a little easier time figuring out his answer to the eternal question at harvest: “What is ripe”
The Cabernet Franc was the first, beginning to flower about a week ago, followed by the Merlot. Geoff said he’s amazed at the amount of fruit the vines want to set in some parts of the vineyard and sees some serious cluster thinning in his immediate future.
He’s already dropped some crop in the Merlot–a rather bold and confident move when it has yet to complete bloom. We’re beginning to see some action in the Petit Verdot and hints of flowering in the Cab. So, the next thing you know, it’s time for cluster counts and we’re off and running!
Here’s to a bloomin’ good year!