There are two undeniable signs of spring in the Napa Valley. The first is when bright yellow mustard fills the dormant vineyards with color and the second is the celebrated moment known as Bud Break.
Bud break occurs when warming temperatures and lengthening days signal to the vines that a new season has begun. After sleeping all winter, the vine comes back to life and begins the vintage. Along the canes tiny buds swell until they burst forth with new and tender leaves that reach for the sun and restart the process of photosynthesis to fuel the vine as it grows once more.
It is a critical moment for the vines and the vintage to come, as weather can still be uncertain this early in the year. Unseasonable events can severely damage the nascent vintage and depending on the vineyards location and topography, a variety of tools designed to protect the vines may be deployed if the temperature shows signs of dipping into an unsafe range.
But like all of spring, bud break represents hope, as we see the miracle of nature once again happening before our eyes. It also marks the renewal of our yearly journey in the vineyard and with that comes joyful anticipation of a new vintage’s possibilities.