Spring at Bartholomew Estate is a magnificent time of year. The weather is warming up, the winter rains are behind us, the vines are green and growing and happy. After budbreak comes a period of extremely rapid growth; if you miss seeing the vineyards for a few days the shoots seem to be twice the length they were last time you looked.
Just now the vines are in bloom, which is lovely, but not quite as beautiful as it sounds, unless you’re a winemaker. Grapes don’t have flowers in the traditional sense, with pretty colored petals and everything. Many people walking through a vineyard at this time wouldn’t even know that’s what they were seeing. They just look like fuzzy stalks.
But flowers they are, and in due course, as with any other fruiting plant, they will turn into fruit, in this case, grapes. The different varieties flower, and subsequently mature, at different times, which is good, because otherwise we’d have to harvest them all at once!
People who see me walking the vineyards often ask me how the crop looks, and at this point, I always have to say that it’s too soon to tell. The potential for great quality is certainly there, but it will take time to manifest. In summer we will have an idea, and by fall we will know for sure. Growing is all about becoming, and it’s always exciting to watch it happen, year after year. Stay tuned!
~Kevin Holt, Bartholomew Estate Winemaker