The past two days were spent suckering and thinning shoots. It's quite a fun task. I got to see each vine up close and personal. It gave me an opportunity to check for frost damage which, I am pleased to report, there is almost none of. A few of the bench grafts, that were cut down to two buds, are showing some damage on the leaves that were just beginning to peek out of their milk cartons. Otherwise everything else seems fine.
The Pinot gris vines are pushing out every possible bud they can...they look like Chia pets! Well, they did before I went through and put a stop to their vigorous little game. It took quite a while but now there are actually spaces between the shoots. I am thinking they are wanting to be infected with powdery mildew.
One thing I did notice is that there hundreds of ladybird (Coccinellidae) larvae all over the vineyard. This bodes well for my grape pest management programme, which consists of hoping I have all the good insects for vines...and none of the bad ones. The larvae in the picture is quite advanced, she'll be hatching anytime soon. The sheer number of ladybirds, at every stage right now, reminded me of the plague of ladybirds we had in England in 1976. That was a crunchy summer indeed!