Bud break began on the North Fork last week with cabernet franc vines peaking through April 21 at Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck.
Though that date is somewhat earlier than average — North Fork buds generally break around the first week of May — April 21 is by no means unusual. The earliest bud break at Shinn took place on April 15 in 2010 and 2002, co-owner David Page told us last year.
As of Monday morning, cabernet franc, pinot blanc, and merlot buds had been spotted at the Oregon Road vineyard.
Vineyard co-owner Barbara Shinn led northforker on a walk through the vines Monday, showing off the gorgeous, colorful buds — some of which were probably less than 24 hours old.
“The red grapes have a little more rosiness to them,” she said, pointing to a few cab franc buds that likely broke late Sunday or early Monday.
While cab franc is frequently the first variety to debut, that does not not correlate to how early it is picked, Shinn said.
“Sauvignon blanc can be the last thing to bud out, but the first to harvest,” explained Shinn, who abides by a biodynamic process.
Cover crops of dandelion and clover — which help add plant-nourishing nitrogen to the soil — were also looking lush Monday morning. The rows would soon be mowed, allowing the decaying cover crops to naturally fertilize the vineyard.
Other local vineyards have reported bud break on their social media accounts. McCall Wines posted a photo of chardonnay bud break on, April 22 and Macari Vineyards winemaker Kelly Urbanik-Koch shared a bud break photo on her Instagram page that same day.
See more pics below.