In the Vineyards: Bud Break

April 24, 2014

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It’s spring, you know what that means… new life! And that is exactly what is happening in the vineyards of Missouri wine country with “bud break”. Bud break is the start of the annual growing cycle for grape vines. It is quite an exciting time because it’s really the first sign of life in the vineyards.

So, what exactly is bud break? It’s pretty much what you might imagine from its name. Tiny buds on the vine start to swell and eventually shoots begin to grow from the buds, breaking through if you will. Buds are the small part of the vine that rest between the vine's stem and the petiole (leaf stem). From these buds will come all of the new cycle’s growth, and finally its bounty.

Like most plants varieties, every grape varietal has its own appearance during bud break, ranging from fairly plain to downright ornamental. Bud break on a Norton (the state grape of Missouri) vine is pictured.

It’s an exciting and beautiful time to get out to Missouri wine country. If you’re interested in seeing bud break in action, contact a local winery. Some offer vineyard tours, but hurry because this phase won’t last long before we’re off to the next.