It’s an exciting time out in the vineyard. Winter is officially over, and the vines are awakening from hibernation. Most of the vines still look relatively bare, however, if you look closely you can see the first signs of spring. Along the canes, each small bud is beginning its transformation. The daily temperatures have finally reached over 10°C meaning that the soil has begun to heat up and osmotic forces are starting to push water from the roots up through the vine. This water feeds the new growth in the vine. This new growth always starts in the buds. First the bud scales open and then the buds begin to swell. At this time the buds enter the wooly bud stage, a stage during which the bud is covered in a soft, wool-like substance. Next, the leaf tips emerge from the bud and this stage is called ‘budburst’. ‘Budburst’ is the first of the four most important milestones that demark the vineyard’s growing season. Here at Obsidian budburst is already underway in some of our early ripening vines like Chardonnay, Viognier, and even Cabernet Franc. However, other vines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Montepulciano will still need approximately three more weeks.
While we wait for all our vines to enter budburst, our vineyard manager Tim and his team are keeping busy planting new vines. They will be planting a new clone of Cabernet Sauvignon which is known for its ability to ripen evenly. Mike is confident that fruit from this clone will add lovely flavours to our flagship wine, ‘The Obsidian’ as well as our Estate Vitreous. The vineyard team will also be planting Pinot Gris. This is particularly exciting because it will be the first planting of Pinot Gris on the Obsidian Vineyard in the Onetangi Valley. Our Estate Pinot Gris that we all know and love currently comes from the 2.5 hectare Edbrooke Vineyard near Waiheke’s Whakanewha Regional Park. With a total of 3,000 vines to plant Tim and his team have got a lot of hard work ahead of them but as always it is sure to pay off.