Early spring brought a lot of foliage to the vines at Hilltop Ranch, as anticipated from the heavy rain this winter. Bud growth is fairly moderate, and shoot thinning in early May will help bring nutrients and sunlight to the “chosen” buds. We will have more extensive weed control throughout the spring, but overall the vines at Hilltop look healthy and are awaiting more warm days of spring and summer. Weather has been inconsistent this spring in Carmel Valley, with weeks of fog alternating with sequential days of heat. Overall it has been relatively cool and windy spring which has delayed flowering. We have not seen frost since bud break though, so there has been no damage to the buds or mildew issues thus far with unexpected rain. It is shaping up to be a nice 2017 vintage from Hilltop Ranch – and much anticipated after loosing the 2016 harvest to smoke taint from the Soberanes Fire.