With this season being noticeably cool, flowering (also called “bloom”) began a few weeks later than in previous seasons. The vines are flowering initially at our lower elevations (slightly warmer sites) and spreading gradually throughout the entire vineyard to higher elevation locations.
Our vineyard manager, Geoff Hall, educated me recently with an interesting fact — grape vines are hermaphroditic, meaning they contain both male and female components, and thus are self-pollinating. The magic of the natural world featuring our vineyard never ceases to amaze me!
While not all vines are self-pollinating, viticulturalists prefer those that are more reliably likely to pollinate consistently. For more information on this topic, here is a good reference from Wikipedia if you are interested to learn more.
Vine flowers are small, green clusters on the tips of the vine shoots, also known as inflorescences. Fertilized inflorescences develop rapidly to the next stage, aptly named fruit set, where they begin to resemble clusters of small berries. This stage is very important for wine production because it determines the potential crop yield of each vine.
We will be watching carefully over the next few weeks to observe how fruit set develops. As the grape clusters mature on nature’s timeline, clues to help unravel the mystery of the 2020 harvest soon will be revealed.