The vine goes through several vegetative stages
during its annual cycle. We are now in phases G and H, Bunches and Flower
Separated Buds, these phases precede flowering and are characterized by
presenting well-developed bunches and, in some cases, clearly separated flower
buds. This last phase appears about a month after sprouting.
At Quinta da Raza, these phases are important
stages of the cycle because they mark the moment when we can estimate the yield
of the next harvest, a moment that every year causes some anxiety and emotion
in the producer.
It is also at this time that some analyses are
carried out on the leaves to check whether the plant has any nutritional
deficiency. The analysis of the petioles makes it possible to assess the
assimilation levels of the vine, right at the beginning of spring, of all the
essential elements for its growth and also, later, for the maturation of its
grapes (potassium, calcium, nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium, etc.).
It is in these phases that the growth of the
plant shows higher values and you can almost see the branches growing, such is
the "will" of the plant to develop. The growth rate will accelerate
until flowering and then slow down until the plant is dormant again.
But not everything is perfect, it is at this
time that the plant is more sensitive to attack by its natural enemies, namely
fungi, but also by some insects that eat the new shoots, it is therefore a time
for extra care on the part of the producer and once again, weather forecasts
are extremely important so that the producer can anticipate all the care to be
taken with the plants.
The cycle will not stop here and nature will
continue its path towards its objective, which is the production of seeds so
that a new generation of vines can germinate. Fortunately for all oenophiles,
the maturation of the seeds also leads to the maturation of the fruits and this
gives us the possibility of transforming them into the most iconic drink ever
created by human beings, the WINE.