Nothing can make me happier: Arrival of spring after a long and cold winter! Most of the habitants of the North hemisphere already started to enjoy spring; awakening of the nature affects us immediately in a positive way! Obviously, as human beings, we are not the only ones who get active with the arrival of spring. There was a sleeping beauty that has been inactive since last autumn. After giving one of the most precious fruits for wine lovers, all her leaves fell down, she collected enough food for next season and went to sleep. Now, it’s time for her to wake up: Good morning vineyard!
Although, we are very eager with the arrival of the spring and as soon as we have a warm day, we take our jackets off immediately, the vines don’t rush into changing to spring mode. They remain dormant until enough heat is accumulated in the environment. Before their favorable conditions are achieved, they don’t burst any of the buds that they have. This is a very important advantage for the vines, since it protects them from the spring frosts… Once they start the bud break, there is no coming back! (Not like us that we can easily put our jackets back on if it starts to be cold again!) So, they are very careful about when to start bud break. Apart from heat accumulation, there many other factors that affect the date of bud break; variety of the vine and rootstock, type of the soil, water availability in the soil (they are all linked with the climate and soil interaction) and date of pruning are the ones that we can easily list.
To me, it’s like a miracle to see when actually the vines decide to start the bud break. Have you ever seen what is actually happening during this period? I can explain you how the bud break happens with a paragraph full of words, but I prefer to show it to you, because this incredible transformation is more than just the words can explain.
When I was a very curious student in France, (I am still curious but unfortunately not a student anymore) I was in the experimental vineyard of my school, Montpellier SupAgro, to witness the bud break of the vines, in April 2013. To be able to have a better view of the whole scenario, I’ve chosen 3 different plants, in each plant I’ve tried to choose a part of the cane with 1-3 buds. I’ve decided to visit those plants every day, starting from 8th of April, during 8 days. The first days, finding back the buds that I was following was easy, but their transformation was so fast that after couple of days, I was having difficulties to recognize them. Every day, they were surprising me more with their growth. When I left to follow them in 15th of April, they were already stunning with their shiny little green leaves!
Here are the daily photos of the 3 vines. Only for the ease of accessibility to their location, I’ve chosen all of them from the rootstock block of the vineyard: I will say no more and leave you with the nature alone!
Cheers to bud break and arrival of spring!
All images © 2017 by Nedret Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.