Bloom and Pollination Make it or Break it for Vineyards!
Grapevines are self-pollinating. This means that each flower has both male and female organs and the pollen from the anthers on each flower can fertilize the pistil on the same flower, with no need for other plants in the vicinity. With a decent bloom in hand and continued good weather, our Pinot Noir is on the way to a wonderful harvest.
Once the pollen tube starts to grow the small distance to the ovule inside the grape flower, weather becomes critical—a cold front or rain can halt the progress in its track. Since all our Pinot vines are blooming and pollinating within the same short span of days/weeks, that kind of weather can mean a very small harvest. For example, in 2005, such a cold spell caused us to have no harvest at DLL.
In a future blog post, we'll talk about our "Saran Wrap" experiment to see if we can protect the vines during pollination from an adverse weather event. But so far, we are pleased that the weather this year has been perfect for pollination!