Sunday, May 15, 2011

Flowering time in the Vineyard

By guest blogger John - One Sunday a month, my husband writes a blog post about what is happening in the vineyard.

We had some nice warm weather on and off for the last 3 weeks and suddenly all the plants in the garden and the vines are growing quickly and there are flowers everywhere. The vines are just coming into flower right now and I've enclosed some photos as most of us have no idea what they look like. This isn't surprising as the grape vines have very small insignificant flowers. Before flowering, the buds looks a bit like asparagus as you can see in this first photo.

The grape flower doesn't have conspicuous petals, but instead the petals are fused into a green structure called the cap. The cap encloses a single pistil which includes the stigma (female) and five stamens with anthers (male). Flowering occurs when the cap opens or falls off. The photo below shows the grapevine in flower:


Here is a labelled photo showing each part: 


Grapes don't need colorful or fragrant flowers as they don't rely on bees or insects to pollenate unlike these lilies and columbines and roses in the photograph from our garden. Instead grapes are wind pollinated.

We also reviewed the Godello grafts and unfortunately many of the grafts we did last May didn't take, probably due to poor quality budwood we purchased from the sole supplier in CA. We have now re-grafted the ones that failed using buds from the vines that we pruned in March, and to be even more certain of success grafted them to the rootstock rather than to the old Merlot stems.

These will probably not give us many grapes this year but with luck the survivors from last year will produce enough to make some wine. There is a photo of the Godello which shows just how much growth there has been since the pictures from the last months blog.


vilterietje said...

thanks john! i never thought about the way that grapes would grow:)
good luck and hopefully a good wineyear!

Artoholic said...

I am impressed. I have just returned from visiting some of the bigger & the truly tiny vineyards in Margaret River and know the huge amount of work involved in a vintage.

Best of luck!