Flowering, Pollination and Fruit Set

June 12th, 2019

The grape cluster are in full bloom with little flowers popping out.  The berries that become pollinated will develop seeds and mature into full sized gapes with sweet juice and thick flavorful skins. The berries that are not pollinated don’t develop seeds. They stay small, hard and green and then drop (called shatter).

Grapes are self-pollinating, they don’t need birds and bees to deliver pollen from one flower to the next. If you look at the picture, you will see thousands of tiny flowers sticking out and above the BB sized grapes. They are positioned in such a way that when they release their pollen it naturally finds its home. That is, as long and there is a bit of a Goldie Locks window of weather when it happens. Meaning it can’t be too hot, too cold, too windy or rain too much. Last week’s 30 MPH plus winds followed by triple digit heat has me very concerned. It will be a month before we know if the flowers released their pollen during these extreme conditions. One good thing about my Kitoko vineyard is that I have a range of elevation and aspects relative to the sun resulting in various blocks developing at different rates.

When the photos were taken the vines at the top of the North Block were in full bloom. Vines 300 feet lower in elevation at the bottom of the hill had no flowers. I am afraid I may have lost some fruit to high wind and heat. In a month I will know how much.

I will keep you posted.