Thank you for seeking us out to help you with your new or renewed vineyard planting. We highly recommend you read the below information before you place an order.
At Chalmers we always recommend grafted vines, not only for increased biosecurity, protecting your asset from phylloxera into the future, 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 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 and climate conditions in your new vineyard site. We are happy to help you with your choice if necessary and we have a suite of rootstocks ain our high health in-house source block 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 website, this excellent Rootstock Selection guide from California or this handy Rootstock Resources Factsheet with many bibliographic references for further rootstock resources and Wine Australia’s Rootstock Selection Helper Tool.
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 provide us with a virus status fro the vines in question. You can do this by sending a tissue sample(s) 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 take phylloxera seriously and hence recommend grafted vines for any plantings, whatever the current Phylloxera status of your region. It’s one important way you can protect your vineyard asset into the future.
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 report 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.
Chalmers propagate mainly from our own imported selection of varieties. We can produce other varieties upon request providing we can source clean propagation material of the chosen variety. Depending on availability of scion material some varieties may only be available as grafted vines. Chalmers has exclusive licence to propagate the clones for which we are the Australian agent. Cuttings of proprietary clones may be available for sale for limited purposes such as top-working in your own vineyard. Cuttings of general public clones or rootstocks may be available if we have material from our internal source blocks which is surplus to our own requirements.
All Chalmers selections (MAT, VCR and some private Chalmers clones) are proprietary clones. The end customer who owns the vineyard where the vines are to be planted will be required to sign a non-propagation agreement. This legally binding contract precludes the collection of propagation material from these plantings at any time in the future. Should this contract be broken, the owner of the proprietary material retains the right to impose compulsory removal of any illegal plantings. No vines or cuttings will be despatched until a signed non-propagation agreement is in place for the new plantings.
Orders for the 2022 and 2023 propagation years are currently open.
We are very happy to help with any queries you may have in regard to your proposed order so please do not hesitate to email us at nursery[at]chalmers.com.au and the relevant team member will be in touch.
Order cut-off is May 31st, 2022 for delivery as follows:
- Container Grown Vines for delivery in November 2022
- Dormant vines for delivery from July 2023
PLEASE NOTE there has been a pricing restructure for all vines propagated in 2021. Updated pricing is available in the Chalmers Viticulture Pty Ltd Terms and Pricing Document here.