Today is the 8th of April. Freezing temperatures are forecast for tonight, and I am pleased to say that the buds on the grapes have not opened up. We have bud swell but almost no new leaves have emerged. This is important, because once the buds open and the shoots and new tender leaves emerge, they are very susceptible to frost and to a lesser degree to sustained low temperatures. New shoots can withstand 32 degrees for one night without frost and still be fine. But if we were to have weather in the mid 20s for two or three nights, it would likely kill any new shoots that had emerged.
In prior letters, I have described the compound buds that grapevines have. Each bud is divided into three segments, primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary bud produces the first shoot, and if that shoot is killed by frost or low temperatures, we have a second chance. The secondary portion of the bud will produce a shoot with leaves and fruit, but the amount of fruit will be considerably less than the fruit that comes from the primary shoot. If the secondary shoot is destroyed, there is a third chance. The tertiary section of the bud will produce a shoot with leaves but almost no clusters. This is the plant’s natural defense against weather and animals. Deer feast on new shoots when they are two or three inches long. So the plant has figured a way to sustain itself by having three opportunities to produce leaves which will produce photosynthates that can be stored in the roots for the following year.
We are having fun as we move forward with Audubon’s. It has become a great opportunity to get to know people in town. I would like to invite all of you to join us for lunch or dinner at Audubons Ste Genevieve. The menu is different from the Grapevine Grill menu but maintains our commitment to farm-to-table in the highest quality cuisine. The restaurant is located in the former Hotel Ste. Genevieve building located at 9 North Main Street. We are open Tuesday thru Saturday from 11 to close. We look forward to seeing you at Audubon’s!
In other news, we are pleased to announce that we’ve received 91 and 90 point ratings for our Chardonel Reserve 2014 and Chambourcin Reserve 2014, respectively, from Beverage Testing Institute, a Chicago based wine review firm that has serviced Wine Enthusiast Magazine, The New Yorker, Wine & Spirits Magazine and many others. We are so pleased by these accolades from this impartial source that rates wines from all over the world, and we hope you’ll make it down soon to enjoy these wines!