So it has been way warmer than normal moving into spring of 2015 so I bumped up the pruning schedule a month. We usually prun towards the middle/end of April and leave extra buds incase of a late frost and then do a final prune around mid may when we know the last frost has come and gone.
March this year was about 3 degrees celcius above normal and the vines are already bleeding at the pruning points. That is the roots are already moving moisture and carbohydrates up the canes. When you prune the canes back you can see the moisture literally drip out of the ends where the canes where cut.
The warm winter and the freeze that action that came with the warm winter has resulting in some interesting survival rates of the vines. For instance Castel and Marechal Foch looks excellent and Acadie and Joffre was not. Marquette, St. Croix and Vandal Cliche were all very good but again they are all very hardy vines. The Evangeline, Ravat, Triompe, Lucy Kuhlman, Seyval and Leon Millot were not bad.
Baltica was not good and for such a reportedly hardy vine it died back significantly this year....but I suspect it is subject to the freeze thaw activity in a warm winter. Will be interesting to see how they all bud out.
The worry is that they will begin to bud out way to early and we could receive a late frost and then that would all but erase the crop for this year. We do leave extra buds in case of this scenerio but if they all bud out really early then it really wont matter that much. We will know by mid-May.