Wine country tours are a favorite activity for bachelorette parties, romantic weekends, birthdays, and more, but you really don’t need an excuse to indulge in wine tasting, right? We don’t think so, and yet there’s something special about the official start of the grape-growing season that demands celebration. If you’re not familiar with the annual spring bud break, here’s a handy guide on what it’s all about, and why it’s the perfect time to take advantage of Temecula wine tasting packages.

What is the spring bud break? 

Grapevine buds are compact little nubs of greenery that contain all the ingredients grapes need to grow: shoots, leaves, tendrils and berries. But they don’t just pop out of nowhere each spring. Part of the vine’s growth cycle is the creation of new buds while the current harvest grapes are growing. In other words, today’s buds were actually left in place by pruners last summer. The buds start out green and covered in scales in the summer, then turn brown when they go dormant in the winter. And when spring rolls around, it’s finally their time to shine.

How the buds break 

Believe it or not, plants have hormones too. When the ground soil warms up enough, hormones activate the grapevine roots and signal that it’s time to grow. This causes the sap to flow and the buds to swell up. At first, buds are protected by a thin web-like covering of cottony fibers called a “tomentum.” Once the bud swells enough to break the tomentum, the bud break is at hand and delicate leaves are the first grape building block to appear. Those pretty little leaves begin the process of photosynthesis right away, and the growing season begins. 

Understanding the delicate balance 

Temecula’s bud break season usually falls sometime during March—this year, local tourist sites heralded the official bud break at several vineyards on March 8—and it’s crucial that it’s not too early or not too late. If buds break too early, a late frost can destroy the grapes. This is rare so far south in California, but not unheard of. More likely, early blooms can be exposed to high winds and heavy rains, which can lead to a shorter growing season. Delayed bud breaks are a problem as well, as the grapes might not have time to fully ripen before the threat of frost and rain in the fall.

Spring bud break is a great time to tour

If you think wine country tours are only worthwhile when the vines are bursting with grapes, think again. There are several reasons to tour the Temecula Valley in early spring. First: a jaunt through the vineyards during a temperate spring day is sometimes more comfortable than in the sweltering heat of summer. Second: many tour packages, including our open air Jeep tour, weave through citrus groves as well. Trust us when we say the heavenly scent of orange and lemon blossoms wafting all around you is something you’ll never forget. Third: it’s always a good time for drinking wine. We rest our case.

Temecula Jeep wine tours: the best of both worlds

If you’re a wine enthusiast who also loves outdoor adventures, Temecula Valley Jeep & Wine Tours offer the best of both worlds. Our friendly, knowledgeable tour guides will dispense insight into wine growing, wine making, and the history of the valley as you visit a handful of Temecula wineries via open air Jeep. In addition to the best Temecula wine tours, we also include some safe off-road adventures, so whether you’re looking to book a girlfriend weekend, a romantic getaway, or a mini-vacation just because you deserve it, call Temecula Valley Jeep & Wine Tours and book an excursion today.