It’s official, we have Bud Break in the vineyard! We started noticing isolated buds that were showing signs of opening a few days ago, but while the buds were awake, their leaves had not yet started to separate. But as of this afternoon, March 29th, we have universal Bud Break throughout the vineyard. All of the tiny buds are awake and some are even starting to unfurl their first leaves.
Bud Break is the single most exciting day of the year for a wine grape grower. It’s the official start of the new growing season, and of the vintage you will harvest about 180 days hence in the fall. And if this year’s Bud Break is any indication, 2014 is going to be a spectacular vintage. The dogs and I discovered our first open buds during a burst of sun that somehow managed to shine through our endless rain. And just as I was framing up a shot of a cane full of vibrant buds with Murphy seated in the background, a rainbow appeared in my camera lens! I snapped away, not sure if I’d capture it or not. But I did. I don’t know if I did it justice, but I hope there is enough there that you can appreciate the magic of a sudden rainbow on such an auspicious day.
The rainbow disappeared as quickly as it appeared. The time stamps on my photos tell me it lasted less than 32 seconds. Just that fast, another wave of storm clouds rolled in over the vineyard. The dogs and I barely got inside before the next cloud burst. Quicker still, the excitement of Bud Break is starting to make way for anxiety. The forecast calls for two nights next week in the low 30s, which is cold enough to damage our little green buds.
Let The Games Begin.