Bud break - the season of rebirth in the vineyards. Bud break is when the grape starts its annual growth cycle. In the Yakima Valley this stage typically begins in mid-April, a little earlier here on Red Mountain, as it is one of the warmest sites in Yakima Valley. If the vines have been pruned during the winter, the start of this cycle is signaled by a “bleeding” of the vine which happens when the sap begins to flow. Bleeding reflects new root growth and warming soil temperatures.
Tiny buds on the vine start to swell and eventually shoots begin to grow from the buds. The shoots sprout tiny leaves that can begin the process of photosynthesis, which creates the energy to accelerate growth. These shoots grow relatively slow until the vines begin to enjoy really warm temperatures (85 degrees and above), which in the Yakima Valley typically occurs in mid-May. It is during this time that the acceleration of growth begins. Growers will easily see 2-3 inches of growth per day, maybe more if it is real warm.