What Is Bud Break in the Oklahoma Vineyard?

If you travel Oklahoma vineyards during the winter, you will see the grapevines in their dormant state. However, those vines will awaken from their dormancy once springtime brings higher temperatures and longer days. At this time, the first green leaves of the new growth cycle emerge – this is known as “bud break.”


Understanding the Bud Break Process

Bud break is the first step of the vine cycle, which concludes with grapes being harvested during the fall before returning to wintertime dormancy. As such, it can also be considered the first step of the winemaking process. Much occurs during the bud break process, but it can be understood as taking place in three main sections:


1. Springtime Prepares for Growth

Once the spring begins, it will bring rain and gradually warmer weather. This encourages the vines to start waking up. The longer days will help to warm up the soil, creating the ideal environment for the grapevines to awaken and grow.


2. The Vines Wake Up from Dormancy

At this time, the roots will start to distribute water and stored nutrients throughout the vine trunks. These fluids will soon extend to the limbs. Once the water and nutrients reach the dormant buds, the buds begin to swell and soften.


3. The Buds Start to Break Open

After the buds awaken and spend a few days in the sun, small green leaves are encouraged to emerge. These soon open fully to reveal small leaves, which start to photosynthesize immediately, quickly growing, multiplying, and flourishing outward.


When Will Bud Break Occur at Oklahoma Vineyards Near Me?

The specific time that bud break occurs depends on a variety of factors, such as the Oklahoma vineyard’s location, the region’s climate, and the specific type of grapes. In the Northern Hemisphere, it most often begins between early March and late April. Of course, there are some exceptions to this early spring timeframe; for example, a warmer winter season can cause bud break to begin as early as mid-February.

If you want to experience the beauty of bud break in person by going on a tour of “Oklahoma vineyards near me,” it helps to know when the specific type of grapevine will begin to grow. The vineyard may feature one or more of the grape varieties that thrive in our state’s unique climate, such as:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Riesling, which have late bud breaks.
  • Merlot and Chardonnay, which have bud breaks earlier in the spring.

There are also many hybrid varieties that thrive in Oklahoma’s weather. Bud break for these varieties can depend on the specific blend of grape types.


Travel Oklahoma Vineyards

When you plan visits to local Oklahoma vineyards, you are creating the perfect opportunity to experience more of our state’s beauty, especially if you go during or just after bud break. Many members of the Oklahoma Grape Industry Council offer tours of their vineyards, so you can see where the grape growing and winemaking processes begin firsthand. Get in touch to learn more about Oklahoma’s wine and grape industry.