Posted On 17 March 2021

What is Bud break?

Bud break is the magical time of the year where vines wake up from their dormancy and new life starts. The first tiny leaves will soon begin photosynthesis which in turn will put the vine in full gear. In Cyprus bud break usually occurs in March and April, this is the time when air and soil temperatures increase. In these conditions the root absorption activity increases and starts sending water and nutrients up through the vine. The buds are slowly hydrated (bud swelling stage) until they finally open. 

Think of buds as micrographs of future shoots, within each bud you can see the future flower clusters and tendrils. The image below shows how a bud looks inside when we dissect it.

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The newborn shoots for the first few weeks will be very fragile and will require protection from the sudden temperature drops, strong winds, hail and hungry little rabbits. Bud break is exciting because it can let us know approximately when harvest will begin. In years with no weather surprises harvest usually follows after 150-200 days. Each grape variety is a bit different, Maratheftiko for example needs 190-200 days while Shiraz around 150-160 days. The first signs of budbreak are now visible for a few Altesse vines but for all other grapes we are still at the bud swelling stage. This means that budbreak will be in full force during the first 2 weeks of April.

What’s next ?

The next important milestone is flowering which will determine the crop size. Usually flowering occurs within 8 weeks of budbreak. Of course that can change depending on weather patterns. The following photos are from our vineyards in the Paphos wine region.

Bud break Altesse fikardos paphos wine region cyprus