Flowering Begins

June 26th, 2010

Today marks an important event in the life cycle of our vineyard. We are delighted to report that flowering has begun, aided by some exceptionally hot weather, which if it continues, promises another excellent year. Earlier this week, we started receiving email reports of flowering in grape varieties used in still wine production. Then on Thursday, while visiting a neighbouring vineyard in Dorset, we discovered the first evidence of flowering amongst their Chardonnay vines. Today it’s our turn! Flowering occurs when temperatures rise above 25c and sunlight intensity increases. The caps fall off the inflorescences (the tiny green berry like structures that bear the flowers), which began appearing in the vineyard about a month ago. Now it must be said that the flowers on a grape vine are particularly modest. It’s not a spectacular sight to be sure, easily missed by those passing through our vineyard, but this day is never-the-less an important link in the chain of events that chart our vineyard year. The process begins, as the inflorescence cap falls away, exposing male stamens, pollen is liberated and the female pistil is fertilised, a process that leads ultimately to fruit set and the formation of the much awaited berries. Poor flowering at this stage can mean disaster for this vintage, so as ever, we watch the weather forecast carefully, in the certain knowledge that cold, wet or windy weather at flowering can have a bad effect on the all important fruit set and this years yield. Keep your fingers crossed!

The picture below was taken today, amongst the Pinot Noir in our vineyard:

And the one below was taken in our Chardonnay today:

And though hard to track down, the image below is evidence of flowering in our Pinot Meunier:

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