Bloom in Progress Under Sunny Skies

008-6-5-13The story of the growing season thus far has been one of fits and starts.  Bloom is underway and depending on the rate of progress, we could be a week ahead of last year.  We shall see, however.

Spring started off very warm and early shoot growth was strong and rapid, but the last two weeks of May were cool and rainy and as a result, shoot growth came to a near halt.  This week’s weather has been warm and the trend is expected to continue, good news for Stillwater Creek since we are now in bloom.

Work in the vineyard to set us up for a success vintage continues.  We are now a few blocks away from completing our first pass at trunk suckering and shoot selection.   Shoot growth is strong with most shoot up to the upper wire.  The goal of the first pass of shoot selection on the cordons is to get rid of unwanted shoot growth along the cordon. Our goal is to have about four shoots per foot evenly spaced along the cordon, eliminating unwanted shoot growth from latent buds. The shoots are selected from buds we have left during the pruning process last winter. Shoots of this density provide plentiful cluster counts and are spaced for excellent sunlight penetration into the canopy during the growing season. With proper shoot spacing, along with some leaf and lateral removal, fruit clusters receive ideal light to grow top quality grapes.  Shoot selection also paves the way for the best pruning selection for the next year.

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