So you're thinking about visiting Prince Edward County wine country? But, when is the best time to come to actually experience the happenings of the vineyard and winery? Well, there are many captivating times that you could pick. There is the hustle and bustle of harvest in the fall. There is the excitement and satisfaction of bottling which happens both in the spring and late summer. There's also veraison in early August when the vines are full of green canopy and the grapes turn colour, marking the start of their ripening process. But truly, one of the most magical and organoleptically satisfying times is now, when the grape vines are in bloom.
Pictured above is a "cluster" of flowers in bloom.
This structure is also called an inflorescence.
Did you know that each grape starts as a flower? A grape flower begins as a closed structure allowing the reproductive organs to be enclosed by a cap called a calyptra. The species of grapevine that we commonly grow, Vitis Vinifera, are self-pollinating and considered perfect flowers. This means that the flower has both male and female parts. The female organ is at the base of the flower and is called the pistil. It has an opening on the top of the structure called a stigma. Five stamens surround the pistil and each stamen has an anther on top which is the male organ containing the pollen. When the cap (or calyptra) falls off the pollen lands on the stigma and pollination occurs. Eventually the pistil will form our beloved grape and we enter the stage known as fruit set.
Pictured above is a grape flower with the parts labelled.
So let's do some math: there are about 75-100 grapes per cluser; about 15 clusters per vine; 1200 vines per acre, and we have about 15 planted acres (allowing for some mortality) - that's 20,250,000 flowers! The entire vineyard is filled with this sweet soft scent and it looks gorgeous too.
Pictured above is the beginning of fruit set.
In addition to our vines being in bloom, there are a few other things you might see while you're visiting the winery. In the vineyard, you will see our team thinning the shoots of the vines. This opens up the canopy allowing light and air through. In the winery, we just finished a really large bottling which means that there are some special releases coming up in the next week or so! Stay tuned!
If you have a question or a topic you would like to know more about, we would love to hear from you! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will cover it in a future post!
Our tasting room is open 11- 6 everyday, all year long!