By Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery
Six weeks ago, I wrote about “the first stage of a grapevine.” At the winery this week, we are starting the second stage with our Chardonnay grapes, which is called “flowering.” It can take anywhere from 40-60 days, and with some varietals, it takes longer. The average daily temperature needs to be about 65 degrees from bud break. Our Chardonnay has taken about 45 days to flower the last two years. Our Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot are still in the first stage. If we had varietals that all were going through the stages at the same time, we would have a bottleneck during harvest. We have five varietals that all progress at different speeds.
After the first clusters come into sight, the flowers start to grow. Pollination of the grapevines takes place during the second stage, which causes the grapes to form. They generally have 1-4 seeds each, and the varietals that we have are self pollinators. Some grapes require another varietal that helps amp up the production. Many other fruits are the same way, like apples, peaches and pears. For instance, in order for McIntosh apples to grow well they need another apple to encourage production, like a granny smith or a pink lady.
This weekend, for Mother’s Day, I have created an Italian-inspired meal that is wine-infused. My marinara sauce has our 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon in it. This is my grandma’s recipe that has been handed down from her mother, my great-grandmother. I’m preparing a meal I would have made for her on Mother’s Day.