Our wet and cold winter has continued here at Calcareous, and it is a most welcome development for our vineyard. As of March 5th, we have received 26.27 inches of rain this year, well above our annual average of 19 inches. Storms are expected to continue throughout March with the potential to exceed 30 total inches of rain, which would certainly be a record since planting the vineyard in 2002. After a few years of drought, this amount of moisture is most welcome as it recharges ground water, leaches the soils of salt buildup, and gives the dormant vines a healthy start to the 2023 growing season.
In addition to the wet weather this winter, we are also benefitting from the fact that it has remained very cold. It takes a combination of warming nights and longer days to wake the vines from dormancy, leading to bud break. The past 2 winters were so dry and sunny, bud break began in mid/late February. However this year, we are now into March and there is still no sign of it. With the vines still in deep slumber when the snow started falling (for only the second time ever recorded at our Estate!) we were able to enjoy beautiful sights and snowball fights. If this had happened during last year’s early bud break, it could have been a disaster. So all things are looking up, with a late bud break hopefully helping to push harvest back to a more typical September start after last year’s early start in August.
Head Winemaker, Jason Joyce