Grapevines have flowers? This phenological event goes unnoticed to an untrained eye. Flowering however plays a massive role for the viticulturist. The potential yield is strongly influenced within this 1-3 week period. The rather unspectacular flowers have petals (known as “caps”) which are fused around the reproductive organs (stamen, stigma and ovary). Below are some images from our vineyard this week.
Below, most caps have fallen however two can still be seen on the lefthand side of this future Riesling bunch. Notice the sticky Stigmas surrounded by the Stamen (made up of the pollen-carrying anthers supported by the white filaments). Once the stigmatic surface has been pollinated, the pollen grain germinates, sending a 2mm tube down to the Ovary which leads to fertilization and fruit set.
At this point the grape grower receives the first indication of potential yield. The tiny berries have arrived and the vine begins to focus on the growth of these baby bunches.
Whilst walking through the vineyard this morning, I noticed the sound of caps landing on the leaves. Pollen and insects are flying around everywhere this weekend.
Warm, dry weather should lead to successfull pollination and succesive fruit set.
Today is an exciting day for me at the Mosel. A few years ago I spoke to a friend/winemaker here at the Mosel about planting Sauvignon Blanc….
Tonight I have the pleasure of trying the first bottled vintage, Fumé Plonk. For those of you who are familiar with fumé blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and oak will be the prompt.
In the land of Riesling it’s refreshing and motivating to taste the potential this grape variety has in the valley. This 2012er displays tomato bush, olive oil and melons on the nose supported by a refreshing yet silky-smooth palate. Well done Staffelter Hof! Having said this, there are a few corners to round off – but when isn’t there? I forgot to ask Jan Klein for the selling price but I’m expecting another bargain from the Mosel Valley.
The back label reads, “Sauvignon Blanc from the Mosel? What does it taste like then? Definitely different – Just try it!”
For the average Moselaner it tastes different but for all of you SB fans out there, you’ll feel right at home slurping on this one..
Aufbinden is the term given to tying up the new canes in summer. In a vineyard without trellising, each vine has it’s own pole and therefore limited real estate to accommodate the explosion of growth during May and June.
Common practice is to train 4 or 5 canes up the pole and tip the remaining canes so they don’t break off under their own weight. The following years canes need to be selected during this canopy management.
A 5am Aufbinden session on the weekend…..
This worker bee found itself drawn to a seemingly pollen-rich center.
This is an interesting place to lay your eggs…an exposed grapevine tendril.
The soils have been replenished with moisture for the last week or so. As a result, another course of Fungicides were prescribed. Here’s the good old fashion “Schlauch-Spritzung” in action..