Early Spring, in a vine’s life, is the time when the annual season of vegetative growth commences and the fate of the next year’s vintage is largely determined. Lack of rain, frost, hail, bad weather and fungal disease can all contribute to reducing crop yield at the following vintage in the Autumn. The earliest change can be seen in the buds when they emerge from their protecting, over-wintering scales and become woolly. Soon the tiny leaves of the developing shoot give the whole vineyard a new green tinge, and as these shoots elongate, the primordia of the vine flowers emerge. We can spray the vines against the fungal disease, but apart from that we become anxious bystanders for the other events that may follow. There is not a lot that can be done to prevent all the other natural catastrophes. The continued growth of the shoots forms the vine canopy. There are several spurts of this that are called the ‘Grand’ periods of growth by the French. The leaves are the photosynthetic units that will absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide and by using that light energy, incorporate the water and nutrients rising from the roots to form the ripened grape.