‘23 Vintage Q&A with Alexana Winemaker, Tresider Burns

Produced in partnership with Travel Dundee

We sat down with Tres Burns, who just celebrated his first anniversary as the winemaker at Alexana Winery for an update on the 2023 growing season. 

Hi Tres! Can you tell us what’s happening in the vineyards right now?

This year has been so cold and wet, which led to a very late bud break around April 30th or May 1, which is even later than what it was last year. But once the bud break happened, everything started cranking. 

All the rainfall this spring filled the fuel tank, and then we lit a match with all this sun and the growth has just been explosive. Even though bud break was behind where we were last year, our shoots on the first day of June this year were much higher than in mid-June last year. 

Speaking of last year, let’s backtrack for a second. How are you feeling about the ’22 vintages?

Last year’s vintage was an interesting one. I started in May right as we were surveying the frost damage, but we bounced back well, thanks largely to the hottest October we have on record. Even hard years can result in good things, and that’s what we’re seeing with the ’22 vintage. We just finished our first Pinot Noir technical tasting and it was great. I’m very excited for how this vintage will continue to develop.

What are you looking forward to next in the vineyard?

The inflorescences are looking great and I think bloom will be on us at any moment. A late bud break means you have a late bloom, and that usually means sunny weather and great fruitfulness because we won’t have to fight the rain. The weather forecast is so rosy.

With a late bud-break but warmer-than-average weather the past month, are you willing to wager a guess on a harvest timeline? 

We assumed the late bud break would also mean a late harvest, but suddenly those days are creeping backward. With a May 1 bud break, you’d typically assume early October or end of September for harvest, but now we’re looking at a mid-September target. These vines are sometimes growing up to two and half inches a day. 

We’re all thankful the cold spring didn’t bring another late frost, but is there anything else you’re watching closely in the vineyard right now? 

We do have to be cautious from a vineyard management perspective because all this new growth is so susceptible to powdery mildew because it hasn’t been exposed to a sulfur application. This is something we learned last year, and this year we are much more prepared. 

But overall we’re excited for fruit quality and great weather and hopefully an excellent vintage with no big surprises!

Search Our Site