Spring In The Vineyard

Choosing A Rootstock There was a time when grapevine vineyards were planted with only 18” (46-cm) cuttings from existing grapevines. A few buds went under the ground and few buds were left above the ground. Vines would root on their own and a vineyard was basically free to plant if you knew someone you could secure some cuttings from. Since the discussion of choosing a rootstock can quickly become bogged down in very specific (and often boring) discussions of soil types, vigor and site specificity, let’s at least jazz up the subject slightly with a fun historic journey back to the prehistory and the early scientific study of the grapevine. Two hundred million years ago there was only one continent and grapevines as we know them didn’t exist yet. While a single land mass dominated the face of the earth, the grapevine was evolving and changing slowly. When the continents separated (by 150 million years ago they were already taking the distinct shapes we recognize today), the grapevines began to adapt to the rapidly changing environments where they found themselves.