This winter’s colder temperatures caused a delay in ‘bud break’ – the appearance of the first, small leaves that tell us the vines are waking from winter dormancy. Bud break in our region typically happens in February or March but this year some vines didn’t see bud break until early April – as seen in this photo from Hillside Ranch Vineyard. Late bud break helps protect the vines from late-winter frosts. And a shorter growing season can lead to more concentrated and intense flavors in grapes. Most importantly, bud break is a sign that growing season has begun!