The Oxford Companion To Wine, 3rd Edition, Jancis Robinson. So worth the expense. Photo from Amazon.com
I've developed a habit of thumbing through a couple of topics in the ole Oxford late at night before bed. i had posted a way back march rambling muse regarding the "sap oozing freely" from freshly pruned vines. how cool to have happened upon an entry regarding vine bleeding right before bud break. Ms. Robinson goes through the topic quite thoroughly, ben. please see the newly added source section (right, below links) for a link to her site--although you must be a paid subscriber to access the bleeding (heh) article. her site has plenty of free information, though, and is a great resource.
bleeding vital stats:
- its an event that can take place over several days when warm weather first breaks.
- vines can lose up to 5.5 gallons of liquid.
- the liquid is composed mainly of water, minerals, sugar, organic acids and hormones.
- bleeding is one of the growing cycle's first signal of starting
- it happens along with the roots' emerging from dormancy and
- osmostic forces start the root pressure that leads to the bleeding (check out the big brain on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmosis)