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Vine to Wine: Bud Break

April 5, 2023 | Vine to Wine

What is “Vine to Wine?

Have you ever been sipping on a glass of Adams County Winery wine and wondered how it was transformed from a grape into our award-winning wine? With our new blog series, “Vine to Wine,” we plan to show readers the life cycle of a grape at Adams County Winery, starting from the breaking of the buds on the vine and ending with the bottling of the end product.

Previously pruned:

Wine grapes grow on year-old shoots of wood called “cane.” Every winter and early spring, our vineyard workers individually prune each cane, trimming off the spent wood from each season and allowing new growth from the vines. Pruning both trains and shapes the vines, with over 90 percent of the visible vine removed at times.

Breaking of the buds:

What the heck is a bud and how does it break? The bud break is the beginning of new shoots and leaves growing from the vines or cane. The buds, which consist of everything that will become the new growth of the plant, begin to become engorged with sap running through the plant and will quickly grow, blooming within a few weeks of the breaking period. Pictured are some of our Seyval (left and right) and Vidal (middle) buds that broke within the last few weeks in different stages of bud break moving from left to right.

When does bud break usually occur?

Depending on the climate of the vineyard and the weather that the vineyard has been experiencing since the pruning period, the bud break can take place anywhere earlier in mid-April thanks to warmer weather, or be pushed to May by colder weather. However, the sweet spot for Adams County Winery’s vineyard is normally around late April barring odd weather patterns.

What happens next?

After the buds break from the once dormant vine, leaves will start to sprout as the buds open up with the warmer weather. Over the next month, these leaves will continue to grow and eventually bloom bunches of flowers, with each blossom growing as a potential future grape.

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