Bud break is always exciting. The winter is long, even when it is not cold. While we enjoy the respite from constant worry about the vines, we feel far more productive when worrying about what can go wrong when growth is under way.
This year’s bud break was just a bit early – late April instead of the first to second week of May – which started the worry earlier. What if there is a late spring frost? Sure enough, the risk was there. We all sat at the tailgate vineyard meeting on May 9, watching the temperature reports and forecasts. Michigan and Wisconsin saw 22 – 23 degrees the night before, and more cold was coming our way.
We worried in vain, which is a relief. Our temps only got down to just above 30 degrees, not enough to cause damage. So now the grapes are visible – these are clusters on a 42 year old Vidal vine that is on its way to becoming Vidal Ice 2017. And we’re officially worrying our way through this vintage.