We are not yet in bloom, but I am guessing we begin by late next week. If that happens, bloom will be similar to the 2012, 13 and 14 growing seasons.
Shoot growth is strong right now at around 1.5 inches growth per day.
Canopy management is underway. We are currently suckering the cordon and the trunks. The cordon suckering is the first major quality control vineyard operation, following pruning, of course. This is when we select the fruit bearing shoots we are going to keep. The goal is to obtain shoot density that will give us the best sunlight penetration into the canopy. Suckering, coupled with leaf removal in a few weeks, is extremely important to wine quality. We have about 40 workers on this project.
We have not had to water the vineyard yet this year due to the heavy snow this winter and the many spring rains that filled the soil profile. This is the first time since I arrived here in 2011 that I have not irrigated prior to bud break and that was almost a month ago.
The new plants we put in the ground last year are growing well. Most have 30 to 40 inches of shoot growth already.