All vines flowering
All around Langenlois flowering now is on in full! Timing seems perfect: we are weeks later than in the extremely early year of 2018, approximately at the same time as in the outstanding years of 1988,1992, 1999, 2012 and last not least 2019, our wonderful youngest vintage.
It is worth having a closer look at the flowering vines, an inconspicuous wonder of nature. An inflorescence consists of many little flower-buds ripening each under the protective cap of merged (flower)leaves. At the start of blossoming the cap is pushed off, and around the ovary shoot up five stamen with pollen. Already with this process fertilization starts, and the pollen is also taken along to other bunches by the wind and many little insects.
A mixed blessing
Not all the buds on a cluster will actually grow. Nature has once more the main role to play during flowering as it influences the amount and the quality of harvest to be expected. It should be warm, rather dry and not too windy. The weather forecast is quite variable and at this time, the nice rains to come are considered a mixed blessing: while still beneficial to the plants, we have reason to believe that many buds will fall to the ground unfertilized, a common incident know under the French originated term “coulure”. A certain amount of “coulure” will be taken into account as a beneficial kind of natural yield reduction leading to even better quality as fewer berries on the stems mean a loose, well-aired cluster with good chances for a healthy ripening
100 Days And More
After flowering we will know more! For example, when the beginning of harvest is to be expected. Traditionally one counts 100 days from the florescence till harvest. However, we like to leave things a bit longer, for the grapes (and ultimately the wines) to increase ripeness and character.