June 2019 – The time has come again for a floral interlude in the vines at Château Palmer. As the flower buds disappear, grape blossoms are discretely revealing themselves throughout the vine rows. Their perfume wafts through the air almost imperceptibly, so subtle and delicate are the aromas.
Though the flowering period is generally brief, spanning between 8 and 10 days, it is one of the most important stages in a vine’s life cycle. As hermaphroditic plants, simultaneously possessing both male and female reproductive organs, vine flowers pollinate each other: sometimes within the same flower, often between flowers of the same bunch, sometimes between bunches on the same vine, and sometimes even between neighbouring vines, with help from various species of insects and birds.
While carrying out the work of desuckering the vines, the vignerons and vigneronnes of Château Palmer become spectators of this natural evolution. Perfect weather conditions are necessary at the moment of flowering: sunny, dry and hot, between 18 and 25 ºC. Only then do the flowerhoods delicately open to reveal the pistils and stamens. Afterwards, the flowers will gradually disappear, giving birth to a multitude of tiny berries. However, should weather conditions be changing and less favourable, they can bring about flower abortion or couluring, causing an imperfect pollination of certain flowers.
The quality of flowering will be a first indication of the potential size of the coming harvest. Of course, this estimation isn’t set in stone, for the growth cycle of the vines continues. But today, this floral expression comes as a great bouquet of hope for Château Palmer... even if there’s still a way to go yet before the 2019 vintage is harvested!