As of today, bud break is officially complete. (Download a spreadsheet with bud break dates by block here.) Shoot growth is way ahead of last year, except for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignon was much later to bud break than most other varieties in 2015. In previous years the Cab had bud break early in comparison with Petit Verdot, which usually finished last. I do not know why the Cab was later and Petit Verdot relatively early this year, but that’s the way it is in 2015.
Shoot growth is a little uneven this year, as was the bud break; maybe because of the early nature of bud break this season but possible due to some cold temperatures last winter.
We began cordon suckering today, starting with the Cabernet Franc as usual. After the Block 48 Cab Franc is complete, we will move to the white varietals to continue cordon suckering. This first pass of cordon suckering is to remove unwanted shoots along the cordon, leaving shoot that are well positioned and fruitful. As I have said in the past, cordon suckering is the first vineyard activity, other than pruning, to effect grape quality.
Pictures of Block 48 and a few other pictures from today are posted here. Some of the pictures I have taken during bloom this year are to show the beautiful the colors of the newly developing leaves, especially in some earlier pictures of Syrah and Semillon pictures. Each variety is a little different.