After bud break, the next step in the growth of wine grapes is bloom, and its begun in many of our vineyards. Grapes are hermaphroditic—they possess both male stamens and female ovaries—and so don’t need assistance in fertilization from honey bees or other such fertilizer animals. Instead, the grape self-fertilizes. This is a crucial time for the vines: an unexpected frost or hail storm can severely damage the nascent berries, potentially costing the grower thousands of dollars in damages. This is also our first glimpse into what the 2018 harvest will have in store: within two weeks of full bloom we expect to see fruit set, and from there we can begin cluster counts and start getting good estimates of likely yields. So we’re a little antsy at the moment, but so far everything is looking quite good out there.