Chapter 3

Wine Grape Rootstocks

Grapevine Rootstock Selections

The following discussion of selected rootstocks is organized by parentage. The information also is summarized in Appendix A, Characteristics of Commonly Used Rootstocks. Knowledge of these parental characteristics may help in making a final rootstock selection.

V. riparia x V. rupestris Crosses

Couderc 3309 (3309C)

Couderc 3309 imparts low to moderate vigor to grafted vines and is a good candidate for high density plantings. Like other rootstocks in this group, it is thought to ripen fruit early. Vines on this rootstock tend to overcrop and have a high yield-to-pruning ratio. The high fruitfulness it induces may require crop adjustment.

Millardet et de Grasset 101-14 (101-14 Mgt)

Millardet et de Grasset 101-14 has become widely planted in the post-AXR #1/biotype B era, and is currently one of the most popular rootstocks. This rootstock induces moderate vigor in scions and is more vigorous than Couderc 3309 when planted on fertile soils with ample water. Unlike Couderc 3309, it induces low yield-to-pruning ratios. Millardet et de Grasset 101-14 has a fairly shallow, well-branched root system and is best suited to moist, deep soils.

Schwarzmann

Schwartzman has low to moderate vigor similar to Millardet et De Grasset 101-14. Like other members of this family of rootstocks, it improves fruit set. Schwarzmann is recommended for a variety of soil types with the possible exception of heavy clay soils.

V. berlandieri x V. riparia Crosses

Couderc 161-49 (161-49C)

Couderc 161-49 is a moderate to vigorous rootstock with pruning weights very similar to Selection Oppenheim and slightly lower than Millardet et de Grasset 420A, Kober 5BB, and Teleki 5C.

Kober 125AA (125AA)

Kober 125AA is a vigorous rootstock (more so than Kober 5BB) that establishes slowly. It is not appropriate for varieties with irregular fruit set because its vigorous growth can cause poor fruit set. It is best suited to high-yielding varieties such as Müller-Thurgau.

Kober 5BB (5BB)

Kober 5BB has very high vigor and is often chosen for varieties which have naturally low vigor. Ripening is delayed by the higher vigor of this rootstock. Kober 5BB is unsuitable for varieties which are prone to coulure except possibly in light and dry soils. In very wet years there have been cases of no fruit-set due to over vigor of shoots and leaves.

Millardet et de Grasset 420A (420A Mgt)

Millardet et de Grasset 420A is reported to be a low- to moderate-vigor rootstock and is usually much less vigorous than the related rootstock Kober 5BB. Its ripening period coincides with that of Kober 5BB and it tends to induce low yield-to-pruning ratios.

Selection Oppenheim (SO4)

Selection Oppenheim has a moderate to vigorous rootstock, similar to Couderc 3309. Selection Oppenheim develops slowly and shows low vigor in the first years of development, but vigor increases significantly thereafter. It is especially suitable for varieties which are sensitive during flowering; it doesn’t promote coulure or millerandage. Selection Oppenheim favors fruit-set, encourages early development and maturity, also good wood ripening.

Teleki 5C (5C)

Teleki 5C has been one of the most widely used rootstocks in the post-AXR #1/biotype B phylloxera era. It is a moderate to vigorous rootstock with a vigor that is intermediate between Kober 5BB and Selection Oppenheim. It tends to have a low yield-to-pruning ratio and is well suited for varieties with poor fruit set.

V. berlandieri x V. rupestris Crosses

Paulsen 1103 (1103P)

Paulsen 1103 is moderate to vigorous (lower than Ruggeri 140 and Ramsey). It has a long vegetative cycle and delays ripening. Its root system is deep growing and strongly developed, and it is adapted to a wide range of soil conditions.

Richter 99 (99R)

Richter 99 is a vigorous rootstock. It has a much shorter vegetative cycle than Rupestris du Lot, which means that it could be grown under cool conditions. The root system of Richter 99 is very strongly developed and very deep growing.

Richter 110 (110R)

Richter 110 is reported to be moderately vigorous to vigorous. The initial vine growth is slow because it first develops the root system. It is not appropriate for varieties with irregular fruit set. It is reported to have a very long vegetative cycle, which delays maturity. Its roots are not as deep growing as those of Richter 99 or Rupestris du Lot. Richter 110 is well suited to all kinds of soils, including acid soils. It is an excellent rootstock in warm grape-growing areas with an arid climate.

Ruggeri 140 (140Ru)

Ruggeri 140 is reported in some countries to be a vigorous rootstock with a long vegetative cycle and delayed maturity. The root system is very deep-growing, well branched, resembling that of Rupestris du Lot. Because of its extreme vigor, it is not recommended as a rootstock for deep, fertile soils, well supplied with water.

V. riparia x V. solonis Crosses

Couderc 1616 (1616C)

Couderc 1616 is reputed to be a low vigor rootstock, reflecting it’s V. riparia parentage. However, it induces above average vigor in scions on fertile sites with ample water. Fruit set is improved by this rootstock. It has a long vegetative cycle and delays ripening.

V. cordifolia x V. riparia x V. rupestris Crosses

Malègue 44-53 (44-53M)

Malègue 44-53 is a low- to moderate-vigor rootstock that improves fruit set and advances maturity. This rootstock has a tendency to overbear, and fruit thinning may be required. Its root system is deep growing and performs well under drought conditions.

V. riparia

Riparia Gloire

Riparia Gloire is known primarily for imparting very low vigor and therefore is a good choice for fertile sites where a very low yield is desired. Riparia Gloire advances ripening and induces very high yield-to-pruning ratios. Fruit must be thinned from vines grafted to this rootstock, or vigor will decline because of a strong tendency to overbear.

V. rupestris

Rupestris du Lot (St. George)

Rupestris du Lot is a very vigorous rootstock. It has a long vegetative cycle and delays the maturity of the scion. Due to extreme vigor, it induces coulure (poor fruit set) and, therefore, is not suitable for varieties with irregular set. Rupestris du Lot generally is avoided for small clustered varieties, such as Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, or in varieties with a tendency for bloom time shatter, such as Merlot.

V. champini

Ramsey

Ramsey is a highly vigorous rootstock. Ramsey has very good drought tolerance and high water use efficiency. It has high lime tolerance and also performs well in mildly acid soils. Ramsey has very good nematode resistance (due to its deep root system) and very good salt tolerance.

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