I’m almost positive we’re just skipping spring here in Calgary. Wistfully, I flip through photos that Nathalie is sending me from her adventures in Italian wine country and hope that if we’re having a rough spring that at least wineries have things to be excited about! There are three important things going on in the vineyard in the spring that set the stage for the growing season: bud burst, trellising and de-budding.
I wait for crocuses in Alberta the same way vineyard teams eagerly await the arrival of bud burst from the vines that are rousing from their winter dormancy. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a little bud on the vine will begin to swell until it ultimately breaks and the shoot begins to grow, the leaves soon to follow. Just like that the season has begun!
After bud burst the vines get to growing, and they do it quickly! You’ve probably noticed that vineyards are often quite manicured – much unlike myself after a long winter nap. Vineyards look so neat and tidy because of pruning and more importantly, trellising. This is the process of attaching a vine to a trellising system, though it’s aesthetically pleasing to those of us with a degree of OCD it has a much more significant purpose. Trellising ensures each bunch will have adequate space to grow, enough air flow, sunshine and shade. This allows even ripening and prevents pests and disease from finding a home, among other things!
As with other plants, suckers (little green shoots) are common to find along the trunk and it’s important that these are removed in the spring by a process called de-budding. De-budding removes any unnecessary growth will allow the vine to focus on our precious grapes. Not to mention if the vines weren’t de-budded it would totally get in the way of those perfect, manicured lines.
As we struggle to enjoy even a glimpse of spring here, just remember our favourite part about spring here at the shop: fresh vintages of Rosé. We’re crushing on the 2017’s from Broc Cellars, Whispering Angel, Gruber Roschitz and Lock & Worth currently!