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New Project (1)

Grafting in the Vineyard

This Spring, we embarked on a grafting project on our estate vineyard in Dry Creek Valley.  Winemaker Nick made the decision to graft over a portion of our existing Zinfandel vines with Cabernet Sauvignon as he feels this is a varietal that would benefit Dutcher Crossing’s current wine program.

In mid-May our team went to work.  First, we cut each trunk horizontally about 10-12 inches below the cordon wire to expose fresh wood.  Once this is exposed, we cut a little “T” into the trunk’s cambium layer (the growing part of the truck which produces new wood annually), peel back this layer, and insert two buds per vine into the layer.  After the buds are inserted, we wrap the area with grafting tape “tying” buds in place.  From here, we will continue to monitor the newly grafted wood for health and growth. 

There are many reasons to graft rather than pull the vines and replant completely.  By utilizing the well-established root system of the existing vine, we can cut down the length of time for the vine to reach full production by as much as half, which will also aid in reducing costs and lost revenue in what would have been non-productive years.

Until Next Time,

Enrique Reyes
Vineyard Manager

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