Grapevine flowering video: how spring weather has influenced bloom and fruit set

by on July 1, 2010

YouTube Preview Image

Wet, warm spring weather throughout April and May delayed flowering, or bloom, in our vineyards by two weeks. (While rainfall during spring was unseasonably high, overall rainfall levels for the year were ample and welcomed after several drought years.) When the warm weather finally arrived in early June, both Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon clusters bloomed at the same time (see video), which is a rare occurrence because Russian River Valley—home to our Chardonnay grapes—is about 15 degrees cooler than our Bordeaux variety vineyards in Alexander Valley.

Good weather is critical for a quality, and mostly importantly, even fruit set. Once the warm temperatures arrived, fruit set happened quickly this year, and that excelerated pace contributed to the most desirable situation in certain areas: a homogenous, uniform crop. (Grape berries consistent within the cluster make much better wine.) The warm weather also ensured very little shatter occurred in our estate vineyards. Minimal shatter of the grape clusters also means uniform berries within the cluster and ultimately consistent flavor of grapes within a cluster.

We did have some gusty winds early June, which did affect bloom. Strong winds cause a higher instance of shoot loss. We thin the grapevines of their shoots, but we prefer to decide which shoots we’d like to remove.

All of these factors—the uniform clusters we desire coupled with the rainy spring and windy conditions during bloom—will certainly make 2010 a unique, yet challenging growing season that has the potential of being a great vintage with the right vineyard management practices (and ideal weather during harvest).

Next we’ll begin shoot positioning of the vines in preparation for veraison.

Curious about this critical part of the growing season where berries begin to form and grow? Watch the above video and send us your questions.


  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Flowering grapes: How vineyards bloom and vines grow fruit | The Jordan Journey --

  • Tim McDonald

    Nice video very well done! great wines do start in the vineyard…

  • home business

    Glad to see your post.

  • Matt Mauldin

    Interesting and informative post- I caught flowering on both my wine trips this year- CA in late April and OR/WA in June…

  • emt training

    found your site on today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

  • Lisa Mattson

    Thanks! Glad you like our videos.

  • Louise

    Thanks for your video….i live in Australia and i have waited years for my vine to actually grow there fruit. finally i see the flowers forming so i am smiling….your video helped to see what is happening and how and what to expect kind of thing, thank you very much.
    I have only 1 vine in the backyard and can’t wait to see and eat it’s fruit.
    Thanks again
    Kind regards

  • Lisa Mattson

    Glad you found our video, and the imagery was helpful. Best of luck with your vine.

  • Gertrude

    Touchdown! That’s a really cool way of ptiutng it!