While I was out in California judging at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition we had bud break here in the vineyard. It was probably around April 24rd or 24th, which is a little late. We have had a very wet and cold spring, which is fine with us considering the warm March we had last year, and then the sad Easter freeze.
We did have a light frost on April 29th this year, and some of our newly planted Catawba grapes got hit, but you can see from the picture on the left, they they are rebounding. You can see the brown, wilted growth that was frost bitten, and then you can see the new pink and green growth, including a new pink bud right where the frost hit. Pretty interesting. Grapes want to grow, they want to survive, and if they can find a way, they will, as this picture clearly indicates.
This is a picture of a tiny Vignoles cluster already formed. You can see this cluster has a shoulder, which is the smaller part of the cluster on the left. You have probably seen shoulders on grapes you buy in the grocery store also. If not, look for it next time.
This is a picture of the Seyval blanc grapes growing over the hill. All the new growth looks so crisp and green. Soon the canes will hang down over the top wire and leaves and tendrils and grapes will be everywhere.