Grape Flowering 2013 in Napa Valley

Grapeflower_chard

Flowering’s wrapping up here in Napa Valley. See those tiny white, protrusions? They represent the potential crop yield this year for the 2013 vintage.

Perhaps you’re underwhelmed by the beauty of the grape flower. True, true – they’re not exactly roses, are they? You have to get up very close to even see or smell them. From a distance they just look kind of fuzzy.

Nevertheless, even as we speak the last of the flower petals are shedding their delicate caps to open up, liberating the pollen to fertilize the waiting ovules! Good, gracious me – I think I need a sip of wine!

And, all of that happens without the help of bees or other insects. Believe it or not, those little bitty things contain the pollen-bearing stamen and the ovaries. How convenient! All we have to worry about is the weather. Everything else is taken care of as long as the weather’s good. You could put a paper bag over those flower clusters and they’d still produce a crop!

I’m happy to say, the weather during bloom has been just about perfect this year. From what I’ve seen in the vineyards the cluster set looks quite good.

The few growers I’ve spoken with are very happy with the weather during this year’s bloom. They say things are looking really good and they’ll be out there thinning clusters shortly – once they can see what they’ve got to work with.

And, bloom is on time, which is always good. The later things happen, the greater the chance of getting caught in the rain at harvest time.

Last harvest was exceptionally fine: great quality and lots of it. Let’s hope this year follows suit. Cheers!

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