Grapevines in the Russian River Valley and other sunnier climes are waking up right now as the earliest green shoots and buds are emerging at the ends of woody canes, heralding a normal start to the 2021 growing season and reminding everyone that spring officially begins this Saturday, March 20. Pictured is a chardonnay vine and bud located in a Westside Road vineyard just outside Healdsburg’s city limits and near Dry Creek. 

Many farmers this week turned on their overhead water sprinklers for frost protection as temperatures dipped to 30 degrees for a short period of time at dawn on Tuesday morning. Possible rain and warner temperatures were predicted later in the week. 

“This is one of my favorite times of the year as you can begin to see new life in the vineyard and feel the optimism for a great year among everyone,” said Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers.  

She added, “In talking with growers throughout the county, bud break seems to be a little later this season, closer to the historic norms. I hope this is a sign of a normal year given all that we have endured the past few years.”

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