Hardscrabble’s Chardonnay vines budded out on April 19. This is wonderfully normal (the thirty year average date is April 20). With farming and weather, average is as good as it gets.
So far most of the vines look good, with uniform shoot development and deep green color. At this writing the only concern is with last year’s planting as some of the vines are slow to get going. The fear is that because of the rainy, cloudy 2018, these young vines did not harden off well and went into the winter without good reserves. While the winter was relatively mild, these weaker vines could have suffered some cold winter damage.
Every day I walk this vineyard block, cutting into the wood to evaluate color. Bright green is what I hope for, but some of the vines show a duller green. By mid-May it will be obvious if there are some vines that did not make it through the winter. Fortunately we have some extra replacement vines from this year’s planting, but I hope we won’t need them.