This spring has taken an unusually long time to arrive, but now that it has, the transformation has been sudden. The combination of warm, sunny days and recent soil saturating rains has turned the landscape from brown to green.

The newly planted vines are already showing some buds swelling. It seems that the timing of the planting was perfect as we avoided the damaging cold temperatures of mid-March and were still able to finish the planting before several soaking rains sealed the loosened soil around the roots of the vines. Chardonnay, the first to break bud, is off to the races with the first green leaves starting to appear. “Official” bud break for young vine chardonnay was today, April 28. This is recorded when 50% of the buds unfold their first green leaf. The older vines will be a few days later as their roots are deeper down into cooler subsoils.

We now have a bit of a break from vineyard work as we wait for the young shoots to begin to develop. Repairs and maintenance take priority. Tractors and equipment come out of their winter dormancy. Most of our farm equipment is “well aged” and reveal new ailments each spring. Linden’s three tractors range from 15 to 40 years old. Parts are becoming difficult to find. Reluctantly, a new tractor will be purchased next year. As tractors become more sophisticated, they become more difficult for farmers to work on. We have to swallow our pride whenever a technician is called in for a repair job. Looks like a lot more swallowing for the future.