Vineyard & Winery Management

January - February 2012

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Page 59 of 139

VINEYARD Timing is crucial in planting a new vine- yard. Potted vines should be planted when root systems have just filled their container volume. Managers, engineers and consul- tants often take care of the pre- plant decisions – site selection, soil preparation and amendment, block, irrigation and trellis design – without consideration for planting time and the vine's cyclical annual growth, dormancy and bud-break physiology. In reality, plant time should be Sourcing Grapevines FOR A NEW VINEYARD Considerations for choosing high-quality, disease-free vines Story and photos by James A. Stamp, Ph.D. rapevine plants are not cre- ated equal. Vines come in several shapes and sizes and are available from a range of commercial nurseries, with the larger ones located exclusively in California. Different grapevine nursery prod- ucts demand specific treatment, but common to all is the requirement that vines be planted on time. On-time planting is essential for the creation of high-quality vineyards, and timely implementation of the steps 60 VINEYARD & WINERY MANAGEMENT JAN - FEB 2012 leading to plant day is critical to achieve this goal. Presented here are the main elements to consider when sourcing vines for a new vineyard, with par- ticular emphasis placed on those actions that will allow the grower to real- ize best return on invest- ment. TIMING IS KEY When it comes to plan- ning a vineyard, vines frequent- ly receive the least consideration. established first – with particular attention given to the vine product type, climatic conditions, histori- cal seasonal weather patterns, soil type and selected rootstock. The goal of on-time planting is to ensure that the vine has sufficient time to establish a functional root/soil interface, which in turn will sup- port active shoot development and the laying down of lignified canes capable of withstanding winter dor- mancy. The overarching goal of on- time planting is to ensure that vines emerge from their first winter peri- od stronger than when they were planted. GRAPEVINE PLANT PRODUCTS Table 1 summarizes grapevine plant products, their pros and cons and recommended planting times. Vines are available potted or bare- root dormant. Potted vines should AT A GLANCE Grapevine plants are not created equal. Vines frequently receive the least consideration when planting a new vineyard. Plant time should be established first, with attention given to vine type, climatic conditions, histori- cal seasonal weather patterns, soil and rootstock. Evaluate source rootstock and scion blocks for disease symp- toms. WWW.VWM-ONLINE.COM

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