Spring is an amazing time to be in the vineyards of the Russian River Valley, especially Floodgate where we get the majority of our Pinot noir for Cartograph wines. As the days get warmer and longer you see and hear all sorts of birds migrating north. Even though you can’t see any visible growth on the vines, you know change is in the air, and soon we’ll see the first shoots emerge. Vigilance is required to protect the vines from frost and mildew as conditions are volatile but there is nothing like watching those first buds swell and release the leaves and potential clusters that have been waiting all winter to burst forth.
I’ll let the images speak for themselves but this was a particularly interesting year. The vineyard went from flooded, with the vines completely under water, to budbreak in a single week. The span between flood pictures and full-on shoots with leaves is seven days!