Hello from the beautiful Applegate Valley. The sun is out and it is starting to finally feel as if summer is upon us. This has been the wettest spring in over a hundred years, and I know I speak for all of us when I say how happy to we are to feel the warmth of the sun!
Currently our vineyards are in the stage of vine development referred to as fruit set. This happens just after flowering and can take place anywhere from 40 – 80 days after bud break. During this stage, all the fertilized flowers will start to develop into berries. Some people think of insects or wind when they think of vine fertilization, but they usually play a small role in aiding pollination. Grape Vines are able to self-pollinate, with the whole process usually self contained within the vine. Bees, us grape growers love them, but we don’t necessarily need them! Not every flower on the vine gets fertilized, with the unfertilized flowers falling off the vine. There are many factors that play an important role during this stage. During fruit set, climate, humidity, high temperatures, health of the vine, and water stress can potentially reduce the amount of flowers that get fertilized. One more thing for farmers to worry about…add it to the long list!
From a winemaking perspective, each step in the process of grape development is critical. During fruit set, I will be keeping my fingers crossed that my vines have set a balanced amount of fuit, not too heavy and not too light.
Take a drive out to our stunning valley this month and enjoy all that our surroundings have to offer. We would love to pour you a glass of wine!
Cheers – Rachael
Red Lily Vineyards