The perfume is subtle, wafting lightly in aromatic episodes. A vineyard in flower is delicate, in more ways than one.
The clusters of green “buttons” (the future flowers) appeared a couple of weeks ago. Now we understand why May is such a hold-your-breath month. The weather needs to be stable and reasonably warm, and hopefully rather dry so the buttons can give way to flowers and the flowers have a chance to pollinate. Last year flowering happened in June, after the coldest May on record. The bees were not happy.
But this Spring has been lovely. The flowers – tiny, tiny, tiny – erupted in abundance.
The self-pollination process (for vitis vinifera) goes on behind closed doors. Under the current, clement conditions we assume the pollen has been able to safely reach the ovaries where it fertilizes the ovules. Each fertilized flower will give birth to a fruit, a berry which will become a grape.
They say that you can estimate your harvest from the time of the flowering. “100 days.” Counting down for vintage 2014.