Once the vine breaks its dormancy, it goes into a period of rapid shoot growth.
So, it's growing as much as it possibly can before it hits the flowering phase.
We started flowering close to the end of May. And, still about the same period of
time, it was about a two-week window where we see the first blossoms to
fruit set. Every flower part has the potential to turn into a berry. And, so
what's nice about grapevines is because you have so many flowers in one very
small area the rate of fertilization of pollen, of pollination is very high. We
don't necessarily need bees. We don't necessarily need any other insects to
assist with pollination, because you've got all of these flower parts in such
close proximity. Once it hits flowering, now it's got to support those shoots,
those leaves. It's still got to grow a little bit more and it's got to support
X pounds of fruit per vine. After flowering happens, after all of the
little individual berries that are going to be pollinated are pollinated, they
start sizing almost immediately. They quickly move through sizing. And, what's
happening there is it we go through a period of cell division. And then, that
happens through about month, month and a half. And then, we go through a period of
cell expansion. Because this year has been so cool, we're fairly even as far as
heat units or hours of warm temperature basically. So, in the two
Appalachians in Alexander Valley and in the Russian River Valley, generally
speaking, we don't see cabernet blooming at the same time.
We see chardonnay blooming in the Russian River Valley. Flowering
happened a little bit quicker in the Reds which is is nice because what that
will ensure or help to ensure, is that we will have nice uniform sizing and then
nice uniform ripening. You know what's a little interesting tidbit on the
flowering is they do smell. And, the different varieties have different
scents to them. My personal favorite actually is chardonnay. It isn't cabernet
as much as I am a cab gal. But, the chardonnay, the merlot, the petit verdot,
the cabernet--they all have very distinct different odors, smells to them when
they're flowering. Very, very light, very delicate smells.