Spring And Bud burst
Watching the vines through winter, (especially once they have been pruned) is like watching paint dry, nothing much happens. Occasionally I would walk up to one of the vines and gently touch one of the velvety little buds protruding from the knurled trunk, hoping to see some sign of life, maybe a little greenery, maybe just a swelling, who knows.
This being my first season as a wine farmer, I had no idea what I was looking for but I was sure I would know it when I saw it. No-one warns you about the speed with which this happens when it does happen. One weekend we were walking through the dormant vines wondering when we were going to get bud burst (the technical term for when the buds burst) then the next weekend, we were inundated with vines popping little leaves out from a multitude of buds along the pruned spurs.
Now the fun starts. These things do not hang around waiting for an invitation to grow. Like magic, something deep within the wine-soaked DNA of this plant comes to life and decides that NOW is the time to grow, and grow it does. One can almost see the leaves growing as each passing day brings more and more greenery. The mad panic to get the first protective sprays onto the new leaves. It is now all GO.
Exciting times ahead.