April 20, 2010: 4JG's Winery, Colts Neck, N.J.
(Above) The warm spell of two weeks ago was enough to get these Monmouth County vines budding out around April 15...
Bud break is one of the first signs of life from awakened vines in early spring. After their winter dormancy, the vines are eager to push out shoots when the air and soil have warmed sufficiently. The timing of bud break is of great importance in the life cycle of the vine. If it occurs too early in marginal climates, the tender shoots are vulnerable to spring frost. This, unfortunately, will be the problem that many N.J. wine growers will be facing for the next few weeks as they wait out the frost danger.