April is typically the month when the vineyard awakens from the winter dormancy. The vines have been sleeping for five months and the spring budbreak is the start of the growing season. At LDV Winery we had a winter watering program to keep the ground cold hoping to hold off budding. Spring is typically windy which is not great for the tender buds, but it keeps the frost away.
What causes budbreak? As soil temperature rises, osmosis causes water to be drawn into the plant through the xylem. This water is carrying minerals, sugars, organic acids, and hormones from the roots. All of these stimulate the buds to burst open.
There are four stages of the grapevines. 1) budburst; 2) flower cluster initiation; 3) flowering; and 4) berry development.
Spring budbreak hints at the vintage ahead. Fingers crossed that we have an incredible growing season.
Winemaker Curt Dunham shows you budbreak in the LDV vineyard on a typically windy spring day in this short video.