Growing Season is in Full Swing
Everything's happening so quickly here in the vineyard. Like the asparagus in our garden, the vines are waking up and growing at a lightning-speed rate, particularly with last week’s heat spell.
Our vineyard crew has been hard at work in the field, debudding and pulling suckers off each plant base. As a method for survival, grapevines grow as many suckers and buds as they can this time of year, since a late frost may kill some buds.
Fortunately, we’re not too worried about a frost and so begins the tedious task of pulling off most of the suckers and shoots to ensure the plant will focus its energy on the strongest buds. These buds will, in turn, produce two or three clusters of grapes later in the summer. An old wives’ tale says we’ll need 14 leaves on each cane to get ripe grape clusters.
Pulling these buds off the vine also allows for more airflow within the vineyard, an important factor in preventing powdery mildew growth on the vines. It’s detail-oriented work, but it means less intervention later in the season.
We are incredibly grateful for our vineyard crew. They can get done in a matter of days what would take me weeks to do by myself. We simply wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them.
As the vines are changing rapidly this time of year, we are reminded how fortunate we are to be able to live on-site in the vineyard. We can see exactly what’s going on with the vines day-to-day and make well-informed farming decisions.
We’re gearing up for a warm, dry growing season ahead. I think we’ll still see some snippets of the cool weather we had this spring, but the summer will be very warm. In the meantime, we’ve been enjoying this spring weather and sipping on our new releases by the fire pit outside. Come visit us!
Winemaker and Co-Owner, Ayres Vineyard & Winery