PRUNING – December to February
Vine Structure Decisions: We begin pruning after harvest in December. The grapevines developed the buds for this year during the previous growing season. This buds will grow shoots that will set fruit that depends on the overall health and vine microclimate the buds experienced. Typically, heavily shaded canes will develop less fruitful buds. Our goal during pruning is to establish the structure for the growing season. Our VSP trellis system guides our bi-laterally trained cordon arms along a wire. This cordon has multiple “spurs” that were shoots the previous year. These spurs provide the buds that will be this years shoots. Because these shoots may have multiple “canes” from last year, they need to be removed to one spur with two or three buds for this year. Making this decision now reduces the number of unwanted canes that need to be removed later! Pruning takes our permanent crew three months to complete.
BUDBREAK – mid-March to mid-April
Budbreak heralds the opening of the buds and the beginning of leaf development. These tiny plant structures are particularly susceptible to frost, wind and hail damage, so we anxiously wait through this period and hope for no damage to the tender shoots and clusters!
BLOOM – mid-May to mid-June
Winegrapes are self-pollinating so no bees needed BUT weather is important. Cool, rainy and/or windy weather can delay bloom.
SET & SHATTER – following bloom
Flowers that are pollinated become “set” – unpollinated flowers will eventually fall off the cluster. Some pollinated flowers, for unknown reason, will fall off the cluster too which is called “shatter”.
VERAISON – end of July through middle of August – very dependent on variety and the year
Red winegrape berries begin to change color – white winegrapes begin to soften. Canes begin to mature and start changing color.
HARVEST – end of August through end of October – very dependent on variety and the year
The culmination of all of our efforts to produce flavorful winegrapes!