2022 Spring Update
In the Vineyard
from Niki Wente
Spring is always an exciting time in the vineyards as temperatures start to rise, days become longer with an abundance of sunshine and we get to see the start of the vineyard lifecycle: bud break. Bud break signifies the awakening of the vines from their winter dormancy to produce young, bright leaves – marking the beginning of the next harvest. The 2022 vintage will be the 139th harvest produced at Wente Vineyards.
We have had an incredibly dry 2022 so far, with just 1.06 inches of rain from January 1st through mid-April. The unreasonably dry weather mixed with some early warm days has brought us into bud break about 2 weeks earlier than average. The growth of the vines has been slowed slightly by cooler weather in April, but we are already seeing the formation of grape clusters across most of our vineyards. At this time in the vineyard, we are just starting shoot thinning and wire movements to control the vegetative growth of the vines, along with other canopy and floor management activities.
Irrigation began about one month earlier than previous vintages to compensate for the dry start to 2022. We are expecting to see bloom in the vineyards beginning the last week of April spanning through the end of May. With any luck, we will have warm, dry days that will make it a quick bloom period to maximize our potential berry set and set us up for a great crop year. In our fields that are in rotation – un-planted land that is resting before we re-plant to maximize soil regeneration – we are grazing with sheep to help maintain carbon in the soil, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and protect us for fire season by controlling the grasses.
We are off to a great start this season so far and are anticipating a wonderful 2022 vintage!