Spring check-in with BILLY
Q & A with BILLY : APRIL 2021
Q: How are the vineyards looking this Spring?
A: We have really uniform bud break so far. Interestingly, we seem to have two clusters per shoot across the board. Usually, if there are two clusters the second one will be half the size of the first. This year they seem to be of equal size.
Q: Why do you think that is?
A: Maybe because it was such mild, good year with normal rainfall last year. Fruit bud differentiation is determined the previous year. So, the fruit buds that we’re dealing with this year were differentiated last year. If you have a good growing season with plenty of rainfall followed by nice, normal weather, the vines feel good and healthy. I’m excited and confident about our dry-farmed vineyard crop level because we’re sitting at about nine inches of rainfall - which mostly came from one weather event.
Q: So even if we don’t get any more rain it’ll be OK?
A: I think so! They’re still riding on last year! A good rainfall year will last two years if you have good growing conditions.
Q: How about the irrigated vineyard? Any bud break yet?
A: It’s just starting. We’re starting to see “eraserhead” stage buds right now.
Q: Is that a David Lynch reference?
A: No, more like Ticonderoga pencils! When the bud extends but hasn’t broken yet we call it “eraserhead” stage. Cabernet Franc will be the first to go with the Petite Verdot. Syrah will be later.
Q: How’s the Chenin Blanc at Ernesto Wickenden vineyard doing?
A: Great! We’ve got about one inch of growth so far. I’m always wowed by those vines every time I go over there. They’re huge!