The budding of the vines: Life makes its way into Pazo Baión

The budding of the vines a key phenomenon in grape harvesting


The vineyards of Pazo Baión come back to life with the budding of the vines, which marks the beginning of the new grape harvest

Although we have not yet found life in the rest of the universe, on our planet, «life is making its way», as Dr. Ian Malcolm argues in the iconic movie Jurassic Park. Just as we humans have our life cycle, so does nature. The vine, the true protagonist of the micro-universe of Pazo Baión, is, right now, starting a new cycle. The budding of the vines marks the resurgence of this fascinating plant after the vegetative standstill it experiences in winter.

In fact, the budding of the vines is an unmistakable sign that winter has come to an end and that it is now time to enjoy spring. Why? Temperatures rise again after the drop in the thermometer in the winter, the sage begins to circulate through the vine again, and buds come to light from the buds of the shoots. Over time, the buds will give way to leaves and shoots and the next stages of the vine and grape life cycle.

Next, we will analyze the budding of the vines at Pazo Baión, which takes place between March and April.

The real starting signal for a fascinating journey will reach its culmination when the grape harvest takes place and the grapes produced by the vineyards of our property are harvested.

1. The effects of pruning and winter

How do you prepare the vines for bud break? By cleaning and preparing the land where they grow, eliminating weeds and, above all, carrying out winter pruning. This task is of vital importance both for the vines’ health and the quality of the year’s grape harvest.

During pruning, shoots are removed, and the buds from which the shoots will now see the light are selected. The objective is to direct the budding of the vines so that the load is balanced and the plant does not suffer any damage.

When we think of winter, we associate it directly with low temperatures. Although this climatic condition can be annoying because it forces us to wrap up warmer and spend more money on heating, it is absolutely fundamental for the care of the vines. Low temperatures allow them to regenerate, rest and accumulate the sap that, when the budding of the vines begins, will flow through them, favoring the birth and growth of shoots.

Therefore, although pruning and the vegetative standstill precede the budding of the vines, they are the pillars on which it is based beyond the climatic conditions. For example, if pruning is not carried out optimally, the budding of the vines can lead to an excess of shoots and grapes, affecting the quality of the harvest and the health of the plant.

2. What does vine budding consist of?

The concept of budding the vines leaves little room for misunderstanding. During this phase of the vine cycle, small shoots are born through the buds of the shoots, thanks, as we have already indicated, to the reactivation of the sap flow.

First of all, if necessary for the regeneration of the vines, a minimal sage weeping is produced, so as not to let the valuable nutrients of the vines escape.

Then, the buds have a fuzz that protects them from the changing climate of the transitional months between winter and spring.

From then on, the buds give birth to small shoots, which, as they grow, become branches from which the leaves and grapes will sprout.

If the winter has ended and it has been very cold, the budding of the vines will likely occur earlier. Likewise, if winter pruning is done later than usual, vine bud break will also be delayed. Thus, viticulture professionals can counteract the effects of the weather to ensure that vine bud break occurs at the most optimal time for plant health and grape crop quality.

On the other hand, we must point out that the size and sensitivity of the shoots, coupled with potential adverse weather conditions, cause bud break in grapevines to be one of the most delicate phases of their life cycle.

As life passes through the vineyard, frost and pests threaten to damage the new shoots.

The budding of the vines is a visually fascinating process

3. The importance of Pazo Baión’s mild temperatures in vine budding

A. Limiting the risks associated with frost

The climate during seasonal changes is even more complex and oscillating than usual. The budding of the vines is linked to the rise in temperatures that comes with the end of winter. However, this does not mean that there cannot be frosts that lower the thermometers in an extraordinary way.

This means that the viticulture team must be extremely attentive to the birth and growth of the shoots and constantly monitor their evolution in case of frosts that could jeopardize their survival.

Fortunately, at Pazo Baión the vines enjoy an exceptional climate. The mild temperatures of O Salnés, thanks to the proximity of the Arousa estuary, greatly reduce the risk of frost. As a result, the shoots can grow in the best conditions.

B. Avoiding pests

If the extraordinary drop in temperatures is a risk factor, the fact that temperatures are higher than usual at this time of year can also lead to problems.

This is because high temperatures can trigger pests that damage the health of the vines.

Pests are the greatest enemy of the vine and of the people who dedicate all their time and knowledge to caring for them. Hence, Pazo Baión’s viticulture team takes all the necessary measures and precautions to prevent pests from attacking the property’s vineyards.

The work of Pazo Baión’s professionals is underpinned by one of the estate’s key features: its microclimate. The configuration of the terrain and the proximity of the Arousa estuary are the main reasons why the Pazo Baión vineyards can enjoy mild temperatures and avoid the effects of extreme weather on the vines. In such a way that neither the cold nor the heat negatively affects the budding of the vines.

4. Pazo Baión the ideal place for the budding of the vines

Taking into account what we have been describing in this article, we can get an idea of how important the budding of the vines is for the grape harvest. But it is also a fascinating natural spectacle. Both issues combined have a consequence: the budding of the vines is the perfect time to go into the vineyards and immerse yourself in the world of wine.

Especially in an enclave as special as Pazo Baión. The property comprises 22 hectares of vineyards that make up beautiful landscapes. Through any of the five wine tourism plans in the Rías Baixas of Pazo Baión, it is possible to walk among the vineyards and appreciate how the new shoots splash with their greenness to the vines.

There is no better way to understand this process than watching it live and direct. And even more, if you have the company of a guide who complements the images you see with the knowledge accumulated during the five centuries in which the vines have been cultivated in Pazo Baión.

Nature is full of fascinating phenomena, and the budding of the vines are one of them for their aesthetic beauty and relevance in making wine. At Pazo Baión, the months of March and April are extremely special and exciting because they inaugurate a new cycle. And throughout these weeks, the entire property recovers its characteristic intense green, giving way to spring.

The Jurassic Park doctor was right: life is making its way. And to be able to watch it do so is a fascinating and surprising spectacle, which we at Pazo Baión are lucky enough to enjoy year after year.

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