May was cool, below normal with the usual abundant rainfall. Bud break for most varieties was approximately May 18/19th. All varieties were given a 8-8-8 fertilizer treatment and a micro-nutrient treatment (Scotts Micro-Max). Practice double pruning to reduce potential loss to late spring frost.
June was fairly close to normal temperature, except the last 10 days of the month and first week into July was below normal and delayed flowering a few days. Average rainfall.
July was cool and continued the cool spring trend. Flowering was first week in July for all varieties except Ravat 34. Ravat was about 4-5 days behind the other varieties which is unusual as Ravat typically flowers the same time (+/- a day) as the other varieties. (This should have been my first clue that this variety was over cropped). Rain was moderate to low and the last rain in July was on the 23rd. This was the start of the drought that lasted until mid September.
August was normal for heat, hot days on average, no rain the entire month. By August 23rd the vines were looking fine, Leon Millot was well filled out as were most other varieties, however the berry development of Ravat 34 was delayed. The Lucy Kuhlman and Colmar Precoce Noir were just starting to show some colour on the 23rd.
September was above normal for heat (monthly average of 15.3 degrees c) and the drought continued until September 17th (8 full weeks without any rain). As of the 10th most varieties were showing moderate to high water stress, Ravat was showing severe water stress and was given some water. Most varieties were colouring well, but the berries are noticeably small compared to normal especially Ravat. Deployed the nets.
Below - photo of one of the few Ravat clusters that somewhat filled out;