Chaumette May News: Letter From Hank

Hello Everyone! The first stage in the annual viticultural cycle is bud break, or as some call it bud burst. As the name suggests, it is the swelling and opening of the dormant buds that have been closed, protecting the primordia of the current year’s growth. The process takes several days once it begins, depending on the temperature. If we have 80 to 85 degree temperatures every day and warm nights, the process can take only a couple of days. But if temperatures are lower and nights are cooler, it may take four or five or six days for the process of bud swell to bud break, with the presence of the first leaf.

sporadic bud break

sporadic bud break

In a normal year, whatever that is, all of the buds on a single vine will progress at about the same pace. This year, we are seeing several things that are much different. In a large number of vines, we are seeing one or two buds that have opened, and the rest have remained swollen but not open, and in some cases, they still appear to be dormant.

Normally, we would expect buds farthest from the cane to swell first and buds farther from the trunk to swell first. This year, in many instances, the basal buds, that is buds right next to the cordons are first to break, and the buds that we would expect to be first come much later. The bud break in 2014 can be described as spotty. The only explanation I have for this is the cold winter temperatures. I believe that the buds that have not opened are viable and will just take a little bit longer to come around.

little bit longer to come around

little bit longer to come around

In past years, we have seen some examples of a delay in bud break in younger plants or in vines where we have laid down a new cordon. We have also seen late bud break in some instances from a “blind” node. This is a node that has not produced a bud for one or two years and suddenly comes to life. These phenomena are often delayed bud break.

In prior years, we have waited to declare bud break until 75% of the buds have opened. This year, I would say 75% of the vines have one or more buds that have opened, and many vines have all buds opened, but there are still some that are lagging behind. Next month I will give a full update on bud break at that time and how the growth is  progressing.

blind node

Thank you for joining us for our Easter Brunch and Egg Hunt ~ it was a glorious day, and we so enjoyed spending it with you! We hope to see you for our Mother’s Day Brunch May 11th, Chef Adam has an incredible menu he’s created for you and your family, and we have a special gift for all mothers who join us! Also, Chef Adam and Chef Rex Hale of The Cheshire Hotel in St. Louis will be collaborating for a very special dinner at The Restaurant at The Cheshire Monday, May 19th, and information is below. Chef Rex will join us at Chaumette in August for a collaborative dinner at The Barn, and we’ll announce more details about this soon!

Have a terrific month, and we look forward to seeing you soon.


Hank Signature

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