Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Early Season Budburst

Sangiovese in the Onkaparinga Hills district of McLaren Vale.
Budburst is early in McLaren Vale. Pictured above is Sangiovese which is a very early starter. Chardonnay is moving through budburst with stressed or unpruned vineyards at 1-2 leaf developed. Shiraz is expected to be at budburst at the end of August - approximately a week earlier than last season.

Our records since the year 2000 have seen budburst move from the middle of September to the last week of August. Some of this trend is explained by the average vine age of the district increasing. The majority of vineyards were planted in the 1990's and are now reaching full maturity.

The dangers of an early budburst for vines is they are more susceptible to weather damage from frost and wind and hail storms in early spring.

McLaren Vale recieved a hail storm on Sunday the 16th of August with 20 minutes of heavy falls in Kangarilla and along Range Road. The good news is no damage has been seen from this hail storm.

Hail damage shows up as torn leaves and pitted stems.

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