Forget the pessimism in my last posting. The weather has improved, our vineyard operations have been timely and everything looks much more hopeful.
Flowering isn't far off now. I think the predicted warm weather over this coming weekend will push the vines along and we should see the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines starting to flower. Her's a shot of a Pinot Noir vine yesterday--you can see the small bunches forming.
These tiny buds will flower and then, if all goes well, set into berries. Cold weather, rain and wind can upset the flowering process so that berries don't set properly, leading to low yields and straggly bunches. This can be a particular problem in our Sauvignon Blanc vines.
But if the weather is kind then soon the vineyard will be filled with a delicate scent from the flowering--it's not strong but it is persistent and because there are so many flowers on each vine, you can smell it while walking along the rows.
We are preparing the 2010 Red Square blend for bottling. It looks like being even softer and more approachable than the 2008. And it will have the benefit of a year in bottle before release.