Skip to content
Gold Leaf

Vintage Diary

Each year our weather conditions decide how our wines ultimately taste. Follow along with us as we learn how our grapes will express their growing conditions.

February 2021

Our February average temperatures were a bit colder this year with average temperatures over the course of the month of 25 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Snowfall was lower than normal as well, with only one significant snow day on February 16th of a few inches. Right after these pictures where taken, we had a very warm 55 degree day.

Risk of vine death was mitigated with only one day around February 12th that feel to -1F.  

Winter pruning is our main activity in the vineyard this month. We cut back the previous year’s one-year old canes down to 2-to-4 per vine. We leave the cut canes in-between the vineyard rows and mulch them, leaving behind plenty of natural and organic matter to aid in soil health. 

Average February Temperatures: 
2021: 25F
2020: 29F
2019: 28F
2018: 33F
2017: 35F

March 2021

March 2021 was fairly uneventful with averages temperatures around 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

Towards the later end of the month we warmed up considerably with highs in the upper 60s and lower 70s. These spikes in temperatures are always a risk in our region. Warmer temperatures signal the vine to wake up from its winter hibernation. If the vine begins bud burst before our final frost we potentially could lose many of those buds for the 2021 growing season. 

Average March Temperatures: 
2021: 39F
2020: 40F
2019: 33F
2018: 31F
2017: 35F

April 2021

April brought a diverse range of temperatures. The first half of the month brought warm temperatures with highs in the 60’s and 70’s. These warm temperatures woke up our early-budding variety Amur. 

The third week of April brought a cold snap with lows in the 30’s and upper 20’s. Luckily most of the vines did not bud break yet but the cold affected our budding Amur vines. 

In the vineyard, we spend most of the time tying down the newly pruned vines. As you will see in the May diary, we pull down the newly pruned canes and tie them horizontally along the vineyard wire. This allows the upcoming shoots to grow vertically up from the canes.

Average April Temperatures: 
2021: 48F
2020: 42F
2019: 46F
2018: 40F
2017: 51F

Rkatsiteli vine planted in 1983. Taken April 21st.

May 2021

Temperatures have been increasing and the first signs of bud break are noticeable on May 4th. Early budding varieties like Amur have began bud burst while Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Noir are right behind. 

Sadly, the cold snap in late April effected at least 50% of the buds on our Amur varieties, as you can see from the pictures. 

We’ve been blessed with plenty of rainfall to help fill the water tables well beneath the soil. 

The last variety to bud, Rkatsiteli, is the last to be tied. 

The second half of May continued to be very warm with highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s. Right at the conclusion of the month we received a bit of rain and some lower temperatures in the 50s and 60s. 

By the last week of May, our vines on our Seneca estate have developed inflorescences. These may look like baby grapes, but not yet. The next set will be flowering, when the vines self-pollinate themselves to produce the grapes. 

Average May Temperatures: 
2021: 57F
2020: 55F
2019: 56F
2018: 63F
2017: 55F

May 4th - Riesling Keuka Estate Block 7 Planted in 2006. Canes Tied & Beginning Bud Burst.
May 4th - Riesling Keuka Estate Block 7 Planted in 2006. Beginning Bud Burst.
May 4th - Chardonnay Keuka Estate Chateau Block 1. Dandelion Season & Hilling Down.
May 4th - Amur Keuka Estate Planted in 1980. First Variety to Begin Bud Break.
May 4th - Amur. Here you can see the effects of the late April cold spell. In the center is a normal bud that survived, and two on each side that did not make it.
May 4th - Gewurztraminer Keuka Estate Block 8A Planted in 1968. Bud Break Beginning.
May 4th - Gewurztraminer Keuka Estate Block 8A Planted in 1968. Bud Break Beginning.
May 4th - Rkatsiteli Keuka Estate Block 10 Planted in 1987. The last variety to bud waiting to be tied down.
May 4th - Chardonnay Keuka Estate Planted in 1974. Canes tied down and beginning bud break.
May 4th - Chardonnay Keuka Estate Planted in 1974. Beginning bud break.
May 4th - Pinot Noir Keuka Estate Block 1 Planted in 1958. Beginning Bud Break.
May 25th - Seneca Vineyards Blaufrankish Inflorescences
May 25th - Seneca Vineyards Gruner Veltliner Inflorescences
May 25th - Seneca Vineyards Saperavi
May 25th - Seneca Vineyards Saperavi Inflorescences
May 25th - Seneca Vineyards Pinot Gris Inflorescences

June 2021

The first week of June brought hot temperatures, continuing the hot and dry character of this year. Up through the 18th of the month, the vineyards have only received one day of considerable rainfall. 

By mid-month, our early flowering varieties like Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier have begun flowering. This flowering process is when the vine fertilizes itself creating new grapes.

The calyptra are the brown colored pieces on the end of some of the tips. The calyptra releases the male stamens and female ovaries. The stamens are the white anthers surrounding each ovary. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Vinifera vines self-pollinate. Pollen fertilizes the ovary which produces seeds as the flower begins the transformation into a grape berry, encapsulating the seed.

Dry weather is crucial at the stage. So far so good! 

Average June Temperatures: 
2021: 69F
2020: 68F
2019: 65F
2018: 66F
2017: 65F

June 18th - Keuka Riesling Planted in 2006 Just Beginning Flowering
June 18th - Keuka Riesling Vine Planted in 2007
June 18th - Keuka Amur Planted in 1980 has already completed flowering. This is fruit set.
June 18th - Keuka Amur Vine Planted in 1980
June 18th - Keuka Rkatsiteli Planted in 1987 Not Yet Flowering
June 18th - Keuka Rkatsiteli Vine Planted in 1987
June 18th - Keuka Gewurztraminer Planted in 1968 Flowering
June 18th - Keuka Chardonnay Planted in 1968 Flowering
Grape Vine of Chardonnay.
June 18th - Keuka Chardonnay Vine Planted in 1968
June 18th - Keuka Pinot Noir Planted in 1958 Flowering
June 18th - Keuka Pinot Noir Vine Planted in 1958
June 18th - Keuka Riesling Planted in 1958 Beginning Flowering
June 18th - Keuka Riesling Vine Planted in 1958
Gold Leaf

Tour Our Vineyards in 360

Get The Latest

Join our email list and stay connected with updates on new releases, special offers, and events.

Skip to content