During the last week the vines have started to change, again. Flowering (Floraison) has begun in Puimisson. The buds (boutons) which formed in the last few weeks and divided on the grappes are starting to flower as you can see in the photo. The boutons have little hoods (capuchons) which protect the forming flower and as they fall away the flower emerges. Technically it is officially called floraison when 50% of the buds have flowered but the process is usually given the name.
The flowers are in the form of stamens or pistils. Vines self fertilise and the pollen produced in the anther part of the stamen will be carried into the ovule of the pistil. The vines have no need for bees or other insects to pollinate and fertilise them despite popular belief. The flowers will then give way to the fruit, as with other fruit and vegetables.
Floraison is also a marking point in the vineyard calendar as traditionally there are 100 days between the flowering of the bud and the harvesting of the grape. In reality it is the white grape producing vines and precocious ones at that which are flowering, though the rest will follow in the next couple of weeks. So plans can be made for the harvest, the countdown starts … but let’s enjoy summer first.