After harvest in the autumn, the leaves eventually fall from the vine (thus the other name for the season!). Once the leaves are gone, the vines will sleep for about four months until they re-awaken in spring. Remember, the vine never sleeps during the growing season, working literally non-stop for up to eight months.
During their well-deserved winter hibernation with the bears the vines re-charge, preparing for yet another season of continuous work. This time of year several people ask me if all the rain is hurting the vines. The answer simply is ‘no’. The vines are sleeping & the rain does nothing more than replenish much needed water tables, reservoirs & streams. We welcome the rain during the winter months.
Humankind has marveled through the millennia at how the vine’s re-birth every spring is a sign that someone up there loves us. So much so that Vitis, the scientific name for the genus of the grape vine, is derived from the Latin root for life itself (vita). Now that we’re past the solstice and the days grow steadily longer, let’s lift a glass and remember Dante Alighieri’s (1265-1321 toast to the noble grape vine: “and that you may the less marvel at my words, look at the sun’s heat that becomes wine when combined with the juice that flows through the vine”.