Buds are breaking all across the Dundee Hills, marking the inauguration of the 2020 vintage.
Up until now, at Knudsen Vineyards we have been preparing for the coming growing season: making sure tractors are running smoothly; and pruning, brush clearing and tying within the vines. With bud break, the game is on. The pace quickens as the crew swings into action to keep up with the vines as they synthesize the light from above and the nutrients from the soil below, converting both into energy for growth.
The elevation of our vines at Knudsen Vineyards ranges from around 500 feet to just under 1,000 feet, making our vineyard a high-elevation property in Oregon. It never ceases to amaze me how much difference the microclimates really make throughout the valley, with elevation being just one of the many elements that distinguish wines from one site to another.
The photos above compare Pinot noir buds on the same day at various elevations on Knudsen Vineyards. On the left is a bud from a vine planted at around 520 ft. On the right is a bud from a vine planted at one of the highest locations on the vineyard, where, because of the elevation, it is much cooler during the day. See how the bud from the 520 ft elevation is further along in its growth. Because of its lower elevation on the vineyard, this bud receives more heat during the day than the bud located higher up on our property.
The moment of bud break allows us to reflect upon and anticipate how much will be created during the coming season, with support and care, from these tender and fragile beginnings.