Pruning time in wine country
This is one of my favorite winter scenes in wine country. It is at the Field Stone Winery in the Alexander Valley in Sonoma. From Healdsburg, drive north on Healdsburg Avenue. Take a right onto Highway 128, Alexander Valley Road. It heads east then turns and runs south along the beautiful Alexander Valley. Field Stone is a small family winery. Hit the tasting room there and then stroll around the area. The morning views of the vineyards to the west are spectacular. The photo shows two wonderful
beauties of winter in wine country. The mustard plant is in full bloom. Beyond the mustard are recently pruned vines. This is pruning time in wine country. From now to mid March, vineyard managers will prune the vines in preparation for the next growing season. This officially begins when the plant comes alive and starts to grow buds. Bud break occurs in April. At the higher elevations, pruning is delayed as long as possible. Pruning stimulates bud break and, if bud break is too early, frost may still be a possibility. Higher elevations experience a greater risk of frost; thus, delaying bud break is a good strategy.