Budbreak in the Vineyards

Once again, as springtime emerges throughout Napa Valley, the vineyards are rapidly coming to life. The vines have awakened from their winter dormancy in a revival that signals the onset of the new crop.

Fresh tender buds are emerging from the vine representing the first visible sign of awakening from the winter’s rest that began shortly after the previous harvest ended as the temperatures started to fall.

Budbreak begins at different times over a two-month period throughout Napa Valley. The onset of this phase will vary depending on the grape variety, location, and elevation of the vineyard. The process is usually complete by the end of May.

Napa Valley’s Diversity

Given Napa Valley’s remarkable worldwide reputation for excellent handcrafted wines, it is understandable that many believe the region’s growing area to be massive. In truth, all of Napa Valley is relatively small, 30 miles long and 5 miles wide, having only one-eighth of the vineyard acreage of France’s famous Bordeaux Region.

The main reason for Napa Valley’s superior wine-growing capability is its diversity of climates, soil types, and elevations. This variability in conditions allows growers to produce a full range of varietals and blends, from popular high end red wine to refreshing whites and rosé wines.

Budbreak on the Valley “floor” occurs earlier than in the cooler higher elevation vineyards in the hillside and mountainous areas that surround the region.

What Happens with Budbreak?

Budbreak is a critical development in the annual growth cycle of the vines.

During the Spring, the temperatures warm to levels consistently above 50°F, which causes the vines to reawaken, sending reserved water and nutrients to the recently pruned limbs. Eventually, buds begin to swell along the vines as the hard nodes on the stems soften, and soft green tissue emerges.

From this point, assuming the weather continues to develop normally, the vines grow and change rapidly. The early buds begin to produce leaves, and the young berries will start to form.

About Handwritten Wines

A leading Yountville winery, Handwritten Wines celebrates ancient winemaking traditions by honoring all things handcrafted. Their meticulously handcrafted wines are sourced from the best hillside and mountain vineyards, representing a broad spectrum of terroirs across the region.

Handwritten Wines’ award-winning, high-end red wines reflect the meticulous and highly selective processes the winery has employed since its founding in 2009.

You may reserve your place to sample Handwritten Wines’ handcrafted wines in their comfortable Tasting Rooms in South Yountville by visiting the Handwritten Wines website.

Wine tastings are available in three formats: Classic, Bread & Butter, and a Pinot Vertical. Each tasting pairs handcrafted wines with a carefully selected food combination that heightens the flavors and enjoyment of the wines.

The Handwritten Wines Tasting Room is located at 6494 Washington Street in Yountville.

For special arrangements or questions, you may phone Handwritten Wines at 707-944-8524.