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We started this fall with cold temperatures. Even reached freezing one night in early October. Then in the past week it warmed up enough to wear t-shirts and shorts again, almost like it was spring. And unexpectedly I found some vines in the vineyard also thought the same, and were starting to leaf out.

New leaf growth with fall leaf

New leaf growth with fall leaf

Before anyones starts to charge this as an example of climate change, I prefer to inject Occam’s razor with a more subtle and probably more likely solution: this only happened on the Turán vines, and so provides a more significant lesson of terrior.

Turán was developed in a different wine region of Hungary then ours. And thus is adapted to start budding and leaf development with a different combination of degree days and photo period than the traditional vines grown in our region. A quirk of fate apparently resulted in the right temperatures just during the right photo period that the Turán would expect to indicate their best expectation for the coming of spring.

New leaf growth with fall leaf

New leaf growth with fall leaf

No such budding appears on the traditionally, local planted vines which typically bud out later in the spring, such as the Pinot Gris, Riesling, Tramini, Pinot Noir, Muskotály, etc in our vineyards. These varieties are clearly adapted to such uncommon, but probably not unique, mid fall weeks of warm weather.

For reds wines Pinot Noir and Kekfrankos are the normal and more traditional red varieties planted in our wine region. Turán is my little experiment variety. It is not normal to plant it here (ergo the title of this post). And putting such plants in the wrong place one may expect to taking such risks with their internal clocks. Cold weather is now back. It will kill off the new growth, which only happened at the tips of long canes, and I expect little long term affects for next year’s growth when it returns in its normal time frame.


Language lesson: Kekfrankos is literally “blue Frankish” (Kek is “blue” in Hungarian). And this variety is also known as Blaufränkisch (Blau is German for blue) outside Hungary, or as “Lemberger” when grown in North America (often in Washington State)
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