Jake and I wake up this morning to what sounded like the attack scene from Apocalypse Now. The big fans, called wind machines, are running across the Russian River Valley as frost protection from this 32º morning. The growing season has begun in earnest with bud break happening in the last week, where the little buds left on the pruned vines swell and then break open with the new leaves. It's always an exciting, scary time as growers hold their breath, hoping to have waited out frost season. While it looks like it's going to last a bit longer, hopefully the fans, sprinklers and natural site selection will hold disaster at bay for another glorious growing season. Gantz Family Vineyards uses the last option, at Ulises Valdez's recommendation. He tells us that our slope and open fields allow the cold air to flow downhill to the road and away from the one year-old plants. We also have a good ground cover that helps to retain the heat from yesterday's warmer afternoon. A little wind that we're having is acting as a natural wind machine was well. Let's hope it continues to work!