Budbreak each year marks the beginning of our growing season. It typically happens between mid-March and mid-April, depending on how cold the winter has been and the amount of rainfall we've received. Like 2014, this year saw cold weather early in the winter, but unlike years past we had quite a bit more rain this year which is something we really needed. We did see temperatures drop down into the 30s in our coldest spots a few weeks ago, but during the day the temps would return to the mid 50s.
On my visits to each of our vineyard properties I have noted a predominance of early buds on our Sauvignon Blanc vines out at our Persephone Ranch, which tends to be warmer year round, whereas on our Rutherford Estate which is on the valley floor we are seeing buds on our Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec vines. This gradient between our various vineyards will likely play out all the way through the growing season, as the earlier-sprouting areas will also see earlier flowering, earlier veraison, and earlier harvest.
But for now, budbreak is a hopeful thing: the beginning of a season of growth, and the beginning of our work that will come to define 2015 for us for years to come. Please join me in welcoming the 2015 vintage to Peju Province Winery!