Rain, rain, we’re glad you came! It has been a stressful spring in the vineyard. With almost no winter rains, the ground began warming up in early February and we all thought it was going to be the earliest bud-break ever. With no rain in sight, many of us started irrigating in January. This is nearly unheard of, but we needed to get some moisture in the ground to keep things from getting too hot. Also, this is not a preferred thing to do when the whole state is screaming drought. The bud scale started to crack in mid-February and we started pre-pruning to slow the vines down.
About a week later, when most of us thought for sure the buds would be pushing, and some warmer locations reporting green-growth, the rain finally came! And boy did it rain. As it stands know, everything is right on track for a great year. If the rain came a week later, I would not be able to say that. We are about two weeks ahead of normal. All the vineyards are showing green shoots from about 24″ at the Confidant clone 777 Pinot Noir vineyard, to about 12″ for the clone 7 Cabernet Sauvignon at Acquaintance. There has been zero threat of frost this year, and all the vineyards have been mowed, cultivated, and looking very picturesque. The blocks at Confidant are currently going through bloom and fruit set, with an estimated 80% set at this point in the Pinot blocks. Out at Acquaintance our leading block here is the Cabernet Franc at approximately 60% bloom. The Malbec is trailing just behind that, and Cabernet Sauvignon blocks are just entering flowering phase on their journey to the 2014 vintage.www.cairdeanestate.com