bloom in our Pinot HVS block, May 23, 2012 I’m calling the start of bloom at our Estate vineyard. This is what I saw uniformly throughout the block of HVS Pinot today. In fact, pretty much all the blocks of cane-pruned heritage selection Pinot looked like this. The precocious Dijon clone 943 was not far behind, and bloom was starting in the cordon-pruned Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777.

In contrast none of the Rhône varieties have popped, nor has the Tannat. About a month ago, budbreak in the Tanant was uncharacteristically ahead of all the other varieties but with respect to bloom it has taken its proper place in the scheme of things. At this point it looks as though the Grenache could bloom before the other varieties. The Counoise is still bringing up to the rear.

My best guess at this point is that based on the number and size of flower clusters, the Pinot and Grenache could yield heavier than average this year. The Syrah and Mourvedre will be lighter than average. The Tannat and Counoise look to have thrown an average set of flower clusters.

Suckering and lifting wires May 23, 2012The crew was out today finishing up crown and trunk suckering. They are starting to lift the lower trellis wires, and doing some shoot thinning for excess density. I’m looking for just two fruitful canes per spur position on the cordons, and just one upward-pointing shoot per bud on the canes.

5 rows for partner-only wineAnybody recognize this? Hint: it’s not Pinot, or a Rhône variety. We will see if it can actually set this much crop—this variety tends to shatter and shell if the weather cools suddenly.

Aye, and there’s the rub; the weather forecast calls for a late-season cold front to blow through Friday. Temperatures, which have been in the 80s, won’t get out of the low 60s, and there is a chance of showers, thunderstorms, and even hail.