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Bud Break Begins in Napa Valley

The first signs of bud break for 2021 appeared in the Carneros AVA. Photo by Chris Hyde of Hyde Vineyards.


Napa, CA (March 10, 2021) – Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) announces that bud break has begun in Napa Valley, marking the beginning of the winegrape growing season.  “We’re seeing the first signs of bud swell on Pinot Noir in the Carneros AVA, with some buds pushing their first leaves this week” said Chris Hyde, General Manager at Hyde Vineyards and NVG member, “within the month, dependent on weather conditions, bud break will ramp up throughout our property.”

Bud break is close for vineyards north of Carneros, as well.  “It’s a very exciting time in Napa Valley.  While we’re seeing buds swell, we’re not quite to bud break,” said Justin Leigon, Viticulturist for Piña Vineyard Management, whose vineyards are located in the Oak Knoll District, Pope Valley, and Wooden Valley, to name a few, “the earlier varieties, like Sangiovese, are very close, and we’re about 3-4 weeks out for Cabernet Sauvignon.”

“Due to lower average temperatures, bud break will likely occur about two weeks later than in 2020.  The cooler weather is welcome now, but once buds push through, our focus will be frost,” said Kendall Hoxsey-Onysko, Business Manager for Yount Mill Vineyards located in the Yountville and Oakville AVAs.

In total, the valley saw an average of 8.3 inches of rain between October 2020 and February 2021.  While Napa County saw more inches compared to 2020, reservoirs are low.  “For grape growers that rely on sprinklers for frost protection, rain is necessary and welcome,” Leigon said, “the rain we received this week will benefit the root system, recharge the soils, get the creeks running, and help fill our ponds.”

Water supply aside, grape growers are optimistic heading into the brand-new growing season.  “We’re optimistic about the vaccination rollout, especially in terms of labor,” Leigon said, “Our whole vineyard team has been vaccinated and things are feeling a bit more “normal” headed into the season.”

About the Napa Valley Grapegrowers

The Napa Valley Grapegrowers is a non-profit trade organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley's reputation as a world-class viticultural region for 45 years.  Its mission is to preserve and promote Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards. NVG represents 685 Napa County grape growers and associated businesses.  

For more information, visit our website

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