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Somerston Estate Priest Ranch
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spring 2024 members newsletter

As we approach warmer weather, we're anxiously awaiting the arrival of bud break and the official kick-off of the 2024 growing season. Our Estate, nestled high in the eastern hills of Napa Valley, embodies the spirit of adventure and innovation while staying rooted in the tradition and excellence of winemaking that goes into every bottle of Priest Ranch wine. As vineyards across the valley begin to awaken from their winter slumber, we at Priest Ranch are eager to share the magic of bud break with you. This significant moment in the vineyard's lifecycle not only signals the commencement of a new growing season but also plays a crucial role in the development of our wines. 

The Essence of Bud BreakPriest Ranch Bud Break

Bud break (or bud burst, as it is sometimes known) marks the start of the growing season in vineyards. This phenomenon occurs when the first green shoots emerge from the buds on the vine, signaling a period of rapid growth and renewal. In Napa Valley, bud break typically begins in early spring, although the exact timing can vary from year to year depending on weather conditions. Once bud break has started on the valley floor, it can be a couple of weeks to a month before we will see any signs of it at the Estate due to our remarkable elevation changes and various microclimates. Temperature can also be critical, with warmer weather accelerating the process.

For us at Priest Ranch, bud break is not just a sign that spring has arrived; it's a reminder of the cycle of growth and the care that goes into every bottle of wine we produce. From the ground to the glass, our team is dedicated to nurturing these initial shoots, understanding they hold the promise of the year's vintage.

The Significance of Bud Break in the Vineyard Cycle

Bud break is the first of several critical stages in the vineyard's annual lifecycle. Following this initial burst of activity, the vines enter a period of vegetative growth, developing the canopy that will eventually support photosynthesis and grape development through the summer. Flowering and fruit set follow, leading to veraison, when the grapes begin to gain color and sweetness. Finally, the harvest season arrives, a time of anticipation and celebration as the fruits of our labor are gathered.

Each of these stages is influenced by the conditions at bud break. The health and vigor of the initial shoots can affect the vine's ability to produce high-quality fruit, underscoring the importance of attentive vineyard management from the very beginning. Factors such as frost, pests, and disease can pose threats to the young vines, making diligent care essential.

Bud Break at Priest Ranch: A Blend of Tradition and Innovation

At Priest Ranch, we approach the vineyard cycle with time-honored techniques and modern innovation. Our adventurous spirit drives us to explore new methods and practices, always intending to enhance the quality and character of our wines. Bud break is a time of excitement and anticipation as we begin to see the first signs of what the new vintage will bring.

Our team closely monitors the vineyards during this critical period, ready to respond to nature's challenges and opportunities. From careful pruning to precise water management, every action is taken to produce exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of our Estate.

Celebrating Bud Break with Our Community

As we welcome the arrival of bud break each year, we also take the opportunity to share this exceptional time with our community of wine connoisseurs. Through exclusive tastings, such as the new Caviar Experience, and vineyard tours for our members, we invite our guests to experience the beauty and excitement of the growing season firsthand.

This year's spring selection, featuring our 2023 Sauvignon Blanc Block 71, 2023 Rosé, 2021 Double Barrel, and 2021 Block 136 Cabernet Sauvignon, is a testament to our team's dedication and hard work from ground to glass. As you enjoy these wines, we hope you'll feel connected to the journey that begins with bud break and culminates in creating wines that capture the essence of Napa Valley.Priest Ranch Mustard Bloom


Bud break is more than just a sign of spring in Napa Valley; it symbolizes renewal, growth, and the promise of the coming vintage. At Priest Ranch, we enthusiastically embrace this time and commit to producing wines that reflect our adventurous spirit and deep connection to the land. As we look forward to the 2024 growing season, we invite you to join us in celebrating the journey from bud to bottle, savoring the fruits of our labor and the beauty of the vineyard cycle.

Featured Wine Selection

Now that we've filled you in on bud break, let's take a moment to explore each of the wines featured in the spring selection.  As a reminder, although you may have not recieved any or all of these wines, they are all available to members and we hope you have the opportunity to explore each one.

2021 Priest Ranch Double Barrel

2021 Priest Ranch Block 136 Cabernet Sauvignon

2023 Priest Ranch Block 71 Sauvignon Blanc

2023 Priest Ranch Rosé


We appreciate your support as a member and hope to see you at one of our many upcoming events in 2024.  And if you're in the area, be sure to stop by The Kitchen at Priest Ranch to try our award winning smashburger!  Let them know you're a member of the wine club and they will extend a 10% discount to you.

The Team at Priest Ranch