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Posted by Catherine Nguyen
May 8, 2019

Remember in the movie The Jerk when Steve Martin’s character, Navin R. Johnson, excitedly announces, “The new phonebook’s here! The new phonebook’s here! Things are going to start happening for me now.”

Budbreak is kind of like that for us vintners. It’s the official start of our annual grape growing marathon. It’s when things really start happening.

At Clos de la Tech, we think of budbreak as a viticultural extravaganza with all the magnificence of Game of Thrones, but without the intricate plotlines, clever dialogue, great acting, violence, castles, dragons and naked people. 

This year’s budbreak came a couple of weeks later than normal thanks to the long, cold, wet winter. The good news is our aquifers are fully recharged, our soil profile is saturated, and the tardy start to the season has reduced the risk of frost damage, an issue that occasionally plaques our Domain Valeta vineyard. 

So, what does this mean in terms of quality and quantity? It’s too early to tell, but if we can get through the growing season without any serious climatic challenges, this could be yet another great year. (2012-2018 were all superb vintages.)

Our next big hurdle is the weather during bloom. Let’s cross our collective fingers and hope for mild growing conditions. In the meantime, we’ll head back out to the vineyard, set up our lawn chairs, pour ourselves a hot beverage and watch those little buds break.

The photo below captures the pink hues typical of nascent Pinot Noir leaves.

Written by Mike Lynch
Big Bang Wine