New online tool to identify best rootstocks

Wine Australia has released a new online tool that will help winegrape growers determine the rootstocks that will best suit their vineyard, based on the most recent research.

The Grapevine Rootstock Selector brings together knowledge from Australian and international research about the specific characteristics of different rootstocks into one independent resource for the Australian grape and wine community.

Wine Australia General Manager Research, Development and Extension Dr Liz Waters said the Grapevine Rootstock Selector is a free tool that helps to share the insights gained from rootstock research in a simple format.

‘This work distills the comprehensive research in this area into a useable tool that allows grapegrowers to choose specific rootstocks suited to their individual vineyard’s conditions’, Dr Waters said.

‘The tool provides growers with research-backed information before they talk to their local nursery about different rootstocks.

‘Planting rootstocks is an excellent way to manage known risks to vine health and supports long-term vineyard sustainability. Research has shown that certain rootstocks have the potential to help improve resilience and efficiency in the vineyard, for example some are highly suited to low-water environments.

‘The Grapevine Rootstock Selector has gathered the relevant research literature into one place, to help growers who may be considering rootstocks to see what might be the best options for their vineyard.

‘By answering a series of specific questions about their vineyard, growers can use the Grapevine Rootstock Selector to identify a small number of appropriate rootstocks for their vineyard.

‘The Grapevine Rootstock Selector highlights the specific characteristics of different rootstocks and provides further information about the grape varieties that have been shown to be suitable for each option.’

The Grapevine Rootstock Selector is based on a tool first developed in 2002 by Yalumba Nursery, the Yalumba Nursery Rootstock Selector.

Wine Australia developed the Grapevine Rootstock Selector in conjunction with Nick Dry of Yalumba Nursery, and Dr Rob Walker and Peter Clingleffer of CSIRO. It draws on published, peer-reviewed research by respected Australian and international research organisations on how the rootstocks perform.

Growers are invited to answer seven questions to narrow down the rootstock options:

  • How would you describe your region’s climate?
  • During a drought, how much irrigation water are you likely to have?
  • What is your desired level of vine vigour?
  • What is the salt content of your soil?
  • How does the soil drain at your site?
  • What is the pH of your soil?
  • Do you need rootknot nematode-tolerant rootstocks?

The Grapevine Rootstock Selector can be accessed at www.grapevinerootstock.com.