Bud break, the unofficial start of the growing season, has begun in Washington. Walla Walla Vineyard Management saw bud break on Cabernet Franc at Wagon Wrench Vineyard in Walla Walla Valley on April 20th. They say this is three weeks behind last year.
2022 was an odd year, however, in that bud break began quite early – late March in some locations – but then stalled due to cool weather (and snow) before restarting in the second and third week of April.
In contrast, reaching out to several growers late last week, almost none have seen any bud break, despite now being in the last week of April. That is considerably behind recent years.
Presumably the warmer temperatures predicted later this week will push the growing season forward. To date, however, 2023 is off to a cool, late start. The former can change quickly. The latter will remain fixed.
Image courtesy of Walla Walla Vineyard Management.