How to graft grapevines

Phylloxera set a new paradigm in the viticulture of the Douro valley and in almost every vine growing country. Since 1850 that this tiny insect, phylloxera, that feeds up from the leaves and roots of ungrafted vines, changed the way grape producers are growing vines. Until then vines were planted in the soil, growing their own roots, which were vulnerable to phylloxera.

In order to avoid roots to be destroyed by the insect, farmers started to plant a plant with stronger and resistant roots to phylooxera, in which would later be grafted a scion of the grape vine desired, like Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz or any other. The art of grafting is very important in viticulture, as it creates the womb in which grapevine will be able to grow. What I want to share with you today is the way grafting is done. There are few steps that you must know as you will see in the video above:

  1. rootstock has to be planted at least one year before grafting
  2. the best moment for grafting is few weeks before vine begins new growth
  3. use a two bud stick scion, upward-facing, for grafting
  4. make a horizontal cut on stump around 10 to 20 cm below ground level for the union to be covered with earth
  5. make a perpendicular cut on the rootstock to insert the scion
  6. wrap carefully the union between the rootstock and scion with raffia
  7. push down the scion to make sure it is well tight
  8. cover it with earth and irrigate every other week for the next 6 months with few liters of water

Questions? I can imagine you will have some!


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