Self Pollinating Wine Grapes are Vital

Did you know that Vitis Vinifera wine grape vines are Hermaphroditic?

Grape Clusters on a vine in the fruit set phase
Early fruit set in our Alexander Valley estate vineyard

These types of vines are generally preferred because each vine is more likely to self-pollinate and produce fruit. Wild vines can be either male or female; not always producing fruit. When farming vineyards it it important to know that your crop will produce. Hermaphroditic vines are only somewhat dependent on the weather and bugs. It's during the fertilization process that the weather can play a very important part in the development of the crop - if its too windy or rainy, it could interfere with the flowering process.

When the vine begins to flower (after bud-break), the grape berries are formed around the seed to protect it.

After flowering, the fruit becomes visible, this stage is called 'fruit set'. At this point we will have a good idea of how the years crop will be. Some of the shoots will start to show their tiny clusters while others will not. We will focus on the stronger shoots and clusters, typically leaving two on each vine to allow the nutrients to fully nourish those shoots.

Our vines are in the 'fruit set' phase now and the clusters will continue to grow larger in the next several weeks.

"Currently our vineyard crews are working on mildew prevention, mowing, spray treatments and vineyard maintenance. They are replacing trellis, highway stakes and wires which may have been damaged during last harvest. Irrigation! Our guys stay quite busy with the coyotes constantly biting the drip tubes to get to the water." -Justin Wade, Vineyard Operations.

Grape Clusters on a vine in the fruit set phase