Spring Bud Swell and Vineyard Development

Stillwater Creek Vineyard is now in the beginnings of bud break. We do not yet have official leaves, but we do have bleeding from the pruning cuts and bud swell. Bud swell is also called the” Wooly Bud” stage.

2014 bud break may be a little ahead of 2013, but it is too early to make that call. If the weather stays cool we could see our first leaves within the week, which would put us at last year’s bud break date of April 24, 2013.  Even though the process of bud break begins with bleeding I do not call bud break until I see the first leaves.

We are now making a final pass through the vineyard to tie down replacement canes and make a final post-pruning cleaning pass. We are also chopping canes, mowing and making final repairs to the trellis system.

We have also begun the development of Block 23 Chardonnay but are now on hold waiting for trellis and irrigation supplies to arrive, which should this week. A few pictures of block 23 developments can be found here. Cuttings for both the block 23 planting and block 18B, where we plan to graft a new clone of Syrah, are budding in cold storage. Our neighbor, Josh Lawrence, has given us space in his cold storage facility in Royal City. I hope to remove the cuttings for Block 23 from cold storage next week and begin the process of callusing the cuttings. The callusing process should take two weeks to a month, at which point the cuttings will be planted at vine stakes and nurseries in the block. The cutting for Block 18B grafting will stay in cold storage until the end of May, when we will likely begin grafting.

The development of block 23 is going smoothly except for the upper 30 yards of the block that is very rocky and the installation of line posts and end posts is slow. I will be renting and compressor and a couple of jack hammers to assist in breaking through the rock to get the line posts installed.

View photos