Thank you for seeking us out to help you with your new or renewed vineyard planting. At Chalmers we always recommend grafted vines, not only for improved biosecurity but also for the many sustainability and quality benefits that can be achieved by careful consideration and selection of rootstock for your site.
Chalmers can offer you dormant grafted vines or dormant own rooted vines which need to be ordered in the year prior to planting. We are also able to supply container grown grafted vines and rootlings which can be ordered in the year of planting and supplied to you as a potted green vine to some states depending on plant movement regulation restrictions.
If you choose to plant grafted vines it’s important you order your vines on a rootstock that is both compatible with the variety you are planting and will produce the viticultural and grape quality characteristics you are wanting from this variety. It is always important to make sure the rootstock and the scion are compatible for grafting and that the rootstock is suitable for the soil type in your new vineyard site and we are happy to help you with your choice if necessary and we have a suite of rootstocks available to us which are less commonly used in Australia. There are also some great online resources for general Australian grapevine rootstock information such as Vine Health Australia’s website, this handy Rootstock Resources Factsheet with many bibliographic references for further rootstock resources and Wine Australia’s Rootstock Selection Helper Tool.
Renewing your Vineyard
If you’re renewing an older planting Chalmers always recommends replanting over top-working. We are confident that the benefits of newly established vines, when prepared and established properly, will give the best results in terms of quality and only see a marginally longer lag time between productivity of the old and new planting.
It is important to understand that should you choose to top work the vines you have currently planted in your vineyard with a new variety, that this is not something we would recommend. There is always a risk of virus content in grapevines, and any viruses that are present in either the rootstock or the scion will move between the two. If these vines are top-worked with the new variety you are wanting, then this may add further to the virus load of the existing vine and can impact on the quality you can achieve in your vineyard. Even if the new bud used for top-working has a ‘virus free’ status it can still pickup any existing virus from the established vine in your vineyard.
If you decide to continue with your top-working program, then before we can supply cuttings of your desired variety, we require that you send a woody tissue sample from your existing vines that you will be top-working for virus testing to confirm that there are no viruses that would prevent a compatible graft. This sample should be sent to a recognised Virus Testing Laboratory such as AWRI Virus Testing in SA or Agriculture Victoria Diagnostic Crop Health Services.
We are very aware of the importance of maintaining vine health in all Australian vineyards and part of our protocol is to regularly virus test all of the source blocks we use for the collection of our propagation material. There are many viruses in grapevines in Australia however we test only for the viruses known to affect the vine health or production. A virus status certificate listing the presence or not of the viruses we have tested for in the material used in the production of your order can be supplied upon request.
It is important to understand that there are viruses found in grapevine material that do not impact on the health of the vine or the production of fruit, while some others can be detrimental. There are many of these grapevine viruses already in Australian vineyards which may be spread unknowingly by using material which has not been virus tested ie. from a neighbours vineyard etc. Collecting material from a source which cannot provide a virus status of their grapevine material poses a great risk to the biosecurity and asset value of your vineyard and the wider biosecurity of your region and the industry in general. Being prudent about where vine materials are sourced is an important part of the stewardship role of grape growers.
We are very happy to help with any queries you may have in regard to your proposed order so please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Bruce 0419 807 283 or Jenni 0407 093 795.
2018 ordering season is now open
Order cut-off is July 1, 2018 for delivery as follows:
- Container Grown Vines for delivery in November 2018
- Dormant vines for delivery in September/October 2019