No rest for the weary! It looks like we are going to have an early bud break this year. That is the point in the grapevines life when it begins to come out of winter dormancy and begin to grow shoots. These shoots will continue to grow and eventually produce the grapes that we all love.
As vineyard managers, we have been busy preparing the vineyards for the 2016 growing season. We pruned last years growth off the vines and set them up to grow in the manner we wish based on our trellis systems. This can be very different from vineyard to vineyard. The training and trellis system is chosen for each individual site and grape varietal to achieve the desired fruit characteristics for the site.
In additional the soils are being prepared to support the growth. For most of the Napa Valley, this means plowing and turning under the green fertilizer you planted in the winter. We use natural and organic means to replace vital nutrients to the soil. This green manure is called cover crop, and based on the needs of the individual site, it can contain a mix of legumes, grasses, and greens. When this cover crop turned into the soil, it supplies the nutrients necessary for the grape vines to grow.
Overall, this is a beautiful time of year in the Valley. There is an energy that radiates this time of year. New excitement for the upcoming season and a nervousness for the challenges that lie ahead. Cheers to 2016