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Willamette Valley Vineyards
May 31, 2024 | Willamette Valley Vineyards

Bud Break is Here

Bud break is turning the hillsides of our estate vineyards a vibrant green.

A close look at the vines reveal flowering buds, the first sign of grapes forming. The 2024 vintage is looking promising so far, says Terry Culton, Willamette’s Director of Winemaking and Vineyards.

“We’re hoping for a bountiful harvest,” Terry said. “We’re excited about the prospect of this vintage based on how the buds are flowering.”

While the winter wasn’t too harsh on our vines in the Willamette Valley, the vines in the Walla Walla Valley faced more severe weather.

According to Terry, the yield will be lower than normal in the Walla Walla Valley due to freezing temperatures. At one point this winter, temperatures didn’t reach above freezing for over a week, and it was negative seven degrees for 10 hours one day. Fortunately, Terry said the surviving vines look good.

The vines in the Estate Vineyard in the Salem Hills

Despite the challenges, vine health in Walla Walla remains robust. Terry shared that while we lost some fruiting buds, overall vine health is strong.

Vines are fairly resilient in the winter, as water and nutrients move into the trunk and roots. Storing these carbohydrates helps prevent the freezing of the plant tissue and gives the vines the energy they need for bud break in the spring.

Little grapes begin to form on the vines

While our vineyard team tends to the vines and their health, bud break is an exciting time in the vineyard and a great time to visit the winery. The sun is out, temperatures are warming up and the blooming vines make the perfect backdrop for an outdoor tasting experience. 

Willamette has a variety of upcoming events to kick off the summer. Join us at a tasting room next to our vineyards to see the vines as they continue to bloom and grow. 


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Founded in 1983 by Oregon native Jim Bernau with the dream of creating world-class Pinot Noir,
Willamette Valley Vineyards has grown from a bold idea into one of the region’s leading wineries, earning the title “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine


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