New trellises are springing up and grape vines have been wrapped around their guidewires for the 2011 growing season! This time of year the vineyards can still look pretty barren, but the first signs of life are emerging from the overwintered vines. Early spring is the season when buds form on the vines, known in grower’s circles as “bud break.” The buds are fragile at this stage and will easily break off of the plant if handled roughly, so our winemakers need to be extra careful when working with the vines. Soon new leaves will form and the vines will begin converting solar energy into bundles of grapes. Let’s hope that this year’s growing season is as good as last year’s!