It has been a rather cool start to the growing season this year. Probably no cooler than normal, if I looked up the records but we just haven't had much warmth to get the vines moving. They are growing, of course, as they must and they look in general good health but there are one or two things that worry us.
The first is flowering in the cool, damp conditions that prevail. Here's a shot of a Pinot Noir bunch and you can see the beginnings of flower formation.
You can also see the brown caps over some of the flowers. If the weather is damp, these caps can become sodden and the emerging flowers are unable to push them off. The result is that no berry forms. This can have a significant effect on yield.
Here's a shot of one of our young olive trees--maybe the same thing is happening here also:
Today, the weather is warm and sunny. This will definitely help the varieties that are yet to begin flowering--the Cabernets and Merlot--and it will certainly assist the others to shrug off the effects of the cooler weather.
Here's a young Cabernet Franc bunch, still in its infancy: