In preparation for our new Bordeaux blend; Eternity, we decided to chip bud one acre of Cabernet over to Petit Verdot and one acre to Cab Franc. The Petit Verdot is in full production. We budded the Cab Franc this last spring. A typical vineyard planting requires 5 years before the vineyard is in full production. Chip budding gives us an incredible jump on that number.
The “budders” are true artisans. First they cut the vine from the trunk leaving about 2 feet of trunk in the ground. Then a “chip” is taken from a vine of the desired variety. The “chip” is the size of the tip of your thumb nail. Next a tiny wedge is cut into the remaining trunk and the chip is fit in. Then the trunk with its new chip is wrapped at the budded juncture in a white plastic tape. From there a whole new vine will grow using the established root system of the previous vine. It is truely amazing!
Our newly chip budded Cabernet Franc is reaching for the sky. We will have a bit of fruit this year which will be dropped. If Mother Nature is kind, by 2012 we expect to have a decent crop.