Cool Weather, Then HOT!

We are well into the 2021 growing season now. April was reasonably mild/warm, and bud break was a little earlier than usual, with full bud break in early May. The first week in May was warm then became cooler than normal the second week of the month, with the cool weather persisting through the end of the month. Due to the overall cool May weather, shoot growth was slightly less than normal, though still adequate. The first week of June was very warm, but as in May, the temperatures cooled during the second week and remained cooler than average until the last week of June. So, shoot growth was a little behind normal due to the cooler temperatures in May through the third week of June. Then, during the last week of June, we experienced a heat event with temperatures climbing as high as 115 degrees. The extreme temperatures continued into early July, cooling down to the upper 90’s to low 100’s July 5-10; still very hot.

We shut down all canopy management activities during the extreme heat, such as shoot positioning and leaf removal activities, to avoid fruit and leaf burn. As a result, the vineyard came through the high heat event with little damage. We also irrigated the entire vineyard daily to avoid heat damage. Keeping continual water on the vineyard and shutting down canopy work saved the vineyard from sun and heat damage.

Bloom began during the second week of June, and during which time we experienced very high winds. The high winds accompanied by the cool weather yielded a lower bloom set in the Cabernet Sauvignon, which already had low cluster counts this year, so that Cabernet Sauvignon yields will be low. Sauvignon Blanc cluster counts are also down this year.