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September through October marks the renewal of the vineyard’s annual life cycle with the start of bud break. During this time the vines’ tiny buds swell and produce shoots.
These buds actually appear green and covered in scales in the summer of the previous growth cycle. They go dormant in winter turning brown until the spring when the vine begins the process of bud break. The energy fueling this growth comes from reserves of carbohydrates stored in roots and wood of the vine from the last growth cycle. Eventually, the shoots sprout tiny leaves which begin the process of photosynthesis, accelerating growth.
Vines pruned in the winter will ‘seep’ liquid at the start of this cycle, which is often referred to as ‘weeping’ or ‘bleeding.’ This phenomenon is the result of osmosis. Water in the soil travels up the vine’s root system and is expelled where the vine was pruned.
During this period a single vine can ‘weep’ up to 5 liters (1.3 US gal) of water.