In Madera, Orange Muscat bloomed during the first week in May this year, earlier than normal, an indication that this will be an early year with harvest starting maybe two weeks early, in mid August or early September. The picture below is a closeup of a grape cluster in bloom. The actual flowers are tiny, about 1/32 of an inch in diameter. In a few days the blossoms will fall off the tiny berries. Normally only about half of the grape berries are pollinated. (Grape vines self pollinate.) This is a good thing because we don't want the clusters to be too tight. In our hot climate we need air circulation inside the bunch of grapes to prevent bunch rot.
It is really fun to go into a vineyard at bloom. The grape's flowers are incredibly aromatic, like a mixture of jasmine and orange blossom.
Viticulturists refer to May as the "Grand Month of Growth". During this month, the new shoots will add about 24 inches of growth.