Most of my grape growing career has been spent in California. My first vintage in Washington State was 2011, also my first year at Stillwater Creek and now for the third year in a row, the weather has been “an anomaly” with everyone telling me, “This has never happened before.” This year’s “never before” is the unusually warm spring weather we’ve experienced of late. It has been very hot here for the last week, with many days into the 90’s. On Friday, May 3, few blocks showed unfurled leaves. A week later, the leaves were completely unfurled leaves and some shoots are now over one foot in length. Remarkable! I cannot recall ever having seen spring shoot growth happen this rapidly following bud break. In fact, we are already beginning shoot thinning and trunk suckering.
We gave the vines a drink today, but I think I will hold off for a week now because of the rapid shoot growth. Leaf color looks excellent, BTW. The 2012 growing season is underway. To see development in the vineyard to date, take a look here.