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June 4, 2023

This Week in H’burg: Bud Break.

This Week in H’burg is a weekly column featuring photos and fun facts from local photographer Pierre Ratté. Each week we’ll feature a new photo from Ratté along with a fact about the subject matter of the photo.
One of the pleasures of living in an agricultural area is connecting to the rhythm of the seasons. Bud break on grapevines here in wine country is a feature of spring, a harbinger of a process which ends in a bottle, perhaps poured at a lovely dinner celebrated with friends. Wine is the only beverage that I know of that creates a transcendental feeling when tasted. It happens in that moment when a wine aficionado, an enthusiast, or even a newbie, pauses to consider the flavor of a first sip. If the wine is particularly good, consideration is overtaken by a transporting experience. Enjoyment envelopes time. One savors the moment, perhaps creating a special memory. I remember my first taste of a French Meursault on a hot summer’s day. I was sitting on a patio of a lovely French restaurant flanked by a rose garden, featuring a blue-and-white striped pole, sporting a colorfully painted, wooden merry-go-round horse. What was this wine? Where am I right now? – everything was beautiful, magical. In that moment, I was there and not there, present and transported, the flavor of the wine and the experience indelibly marked. An interesting feature of spectacular wine is that this experience is available again and again as one tastes different vintages, varietals, and wine making styles. As much as I like milk, coffee, beer, scotch, bourbon, I am pretty sure first tastings of different styles of those beverages don’t capture my attention like a fine wine. Maybe that’s my Italian/French heritage, but I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s not. 
Fun facts: Bud break occurs when temperatures warm after vines rest in winter, nutrients flow upwards swelling buds to hard nodules until leaves break forth, photosynthesis starts, nutrition is manufactured, vines begin to grow, and so it goes, year after year.
Pierre Ratté can be found on Instagram, Facebook and TodayinHburg.com. He can be reached at [email protected]. His book “100 Days Sheltering-In-Place” can be purchased at Levin’s and Copperfield’s bookstores, TodayinHburg.com or Amazon.com.


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