With the threat of below-zero temperatures behind us it’s time to gather and check the buds for signs of cold damage. We gather between 100 to 200 buds depending on the size of the block and variety. Pictured to the left are bundles of ten bud sticks ready to be checked. Of the European varieties we grow, Riesling is the most cold hardy and Merlot is the most sensitive.

The buds we are currently checking are from canes which were exposed to the air temperatures not buds from the canes which were covered with a protective layer of soil for insulation. We will check the buds on the buried canes after we have assessed if or how many we may need to use, dependent on the damage to the air-exposed canes. On the vines where we do locate bud damage we will leave more than the usual number of buds on the vine during the pruning process, to hopefully offset the loss.