Bud break began much the same time as 2013, but we have had cooler weather than in 2013 so progress was a little slower this year, and the same was true for shoot growth. This week, however, the temperature climbed into the 80’s and shoot growth has begun to take off. Photos from May 15 are available here.
Last week we added minerals into the irrigation water to assist with early season shoot growth and the minerals are now starting to take effect. We increased our crew size and began to sucker the cordon and select primary shoots for fruit. We have completed suckering and shoot selection on about one-quarter of the vineyard so progress is good.
Also, we have now completed the trellis installation in the new Chardonnay block 23 planting. The installation of the trellis was a little more difficult than expected due to rock in the upper section of the block. We had to rent a compressor and two 60-pound jackhammers to break the rock in order to install the line posts and the end posts. All that remains to be done now, aside from planting, is to install the emitters in the drip line. We are soaking the cuttings that I recently pulled from cold storage and will soon be callusing them, followed by planting. This process should take about three more weeks.
An update on bud break by block is available here.