Latest Trends In Vineyard Plantings

John Duarte, Duarte Nursery

Editor’s Note: With the forecasts showing a shortage of winegrapes in the next few years, now looks like the best time to plant grapevines in an awfully long time. So we queried a few nurseries about how it’s going, eliciting responses from John Duarte, president of Duarte Nursery in Hughson, and Dustin Hooper, sales manager at Vintage Nurseries in Wasco.

How would you characterize the demand for wine grapevines? How would you compare the demand you’re seeing now with five years ago? To what factors do you attribute the current level of demand?

Duarte: Very strong. The winegrape industry is under planted to meet projected wine sales growth. Existing winegrape acreage is also aging on average as the industry has not replanted significantly in the last 10 years. Vines planted in the boom of the 1990s are turning 20 years old this decade — that is about the economic life of most vineyards.

Hooper: Winegrape varieties are in high demand right now and look to continue that way for the next few years. Five years ago we had steady growth year after year, but 2012 on has exceeded that steady growth by leaps and bounds. The demand can probably be attributed to short crush over the last few years, people waiting to see how the economy was going to do until now, and old vineyards needing to be replanted.

Is it the traditional leading varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon in reds and Chardonnay in whites, that are leading the way, or are other varieties selling better? What newly popular variety has been in the most demand at your nursery?

Duarte: Cabernet Sauvignon plantings are very strong. It looks like Cabernet will continue to be the king of red wines. Chardonnay is a bit different as Pinot Grigio, Muscato, and Sauvignon Blanc are all very popular. White wines are likely to have more variety in the future.

Hooper: Those varieties continue to be popular, but you are also seeing Muscat Alexandria, Colombard, Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc for whites; Barbera, Pinot Noir, Primitivo, Merlot, and Zinfandel for reds.

What percentage of growers know exactly what they want, and what percentage consult with you about what to plant? If they do ask questions regarding variety selection, what are the most common?

Duarte: Most all growers planting right now are planting for a specific winery contract. This means that they know what variety and vineyard design they are planting. Duarte Nursery field viticulturists are still consulted for input on clones, rootstocks, and spacing. Applications and best practices regarding our new Magnum and Ubervine products are offered also.

Hooper: Most large-scale growers are told by their wineries which variety/rootstock they should be planting (probably 75% in this market). The other smaller scale growers frequently ask about clones and rootstocks that will best work for their site. We generally look at their site and soil samples and help them make a decision.

What one piece of advice would you give a grower who is considering replanting?

Duarte: Get a contract that makes economic sense for the future. New vineyards are designed to produce higher outputs than older vineyards were. Current California farmland prices and global wine market realities demand that new vineyards are more intensively planted and farmed than in the past.

Hooper: Plan ahead and order your vines early. Most people do not realize they need to order their vines about 14 to 18 months in advance to get the exact combination they are looking for.

Preventing Red Blotch

As most growers know, there’s been a lot of talk over the past several months about the newly diagnosed disease, Red Blotch. We asked both Duarte and Hooper what they were doing at their nursery to ensure that all the vines they sell are free of the virus, whether growers are asking about Red Blotch, and if so, what they are telling them?

Hooper: We are testing all of our mother blocks, both scion and rootstock. As of now, we have not had any tests come back positive for Red Blotch from our certified mother blocks. We are mostly seeing it out in field selections coming from customers’ fields. Growers in Northern California and the Central Coast are asking the most about Red Blotch as they are seeing it more in their vineyards than the people in the Central Valley. We’re not sure if the climate in those areas plays into it or not. We are telling them as much as we know and what we are doing in the nursery, but there is still a lot to be learned about this disease.

Duarte:
• Duarte Nursery has tested all source blocks for Red Blotch and has eliminated all sources with any grapevine Red Blotch-associated virus (GRBaV) positive finds from 2013 and future production.
• Duarte Nursery has contacted all customers of 2012 deliveries sourced from GRBaV positive blocks and offered free replacements.
• Duarte Nursery has 10 million GRBaV tested clean certified rootstocks and 20 million GRBaV scion buds tested clean available for 2013 grafting.
• Duarte Nursery welcomes further testing of its source blocks and plant materials from our customers.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Fruits Stories
CitrusSenate OKs Trade Priorities And Accountability Act
May 26, 2015
Late on the evening of Friday, May 22, the U.S. Senate approved the Trade Priorities And Accountability Act (TPA) of Read More
Apples & PearsSolve Your Labor Problems From Within
May 26, 2015
Summer is here, which means harvest season is just around the corner. Hopefully you’ll have the crews you need this Read More
FruitsWater Conservation Grants Awarded In Pacific Northwest
May 26, 2015
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded 17 Water Conservation Field Services Program (WCFSP) grants in the Pacific Northwest Region, Read More
Disease ControlPartnerships Key To Healthy Northwest Vines
May 26, 2015
Washington’s grape industry has seen accelerating growth over the past several decades. That momentum is owed, in part, to the Read More
Apples & PearsSounding Off On Record Purchase Of Apples
May 26, 2015
Recently USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service announced the purchase of 34.9 million pounds of fresh apples and 16.1 million pounds of Read More
Disease ControlInland Desert Nursery Is Main Source For Washington’s Clean Vines
May 26, 2015
The Judkins family has been in the business of clean grapevines for more than 40 years. Today, their Inland Desert Read More
Operation Outdoor Freedom participants
CitrusFlorida Proud To Be Home Of The Brave [Opinion]
May 25, 2015
Operation Outdoor Freedom invites wounded service members and veterans of the U.S. military to enjoy recreational activities in state forests and on private lands. Read More
The Latest
FruitsRegistration Is Open For 2015 International Fruit Tree …
May 26, 2015
Registration is now open for the International Fruit Tree Association’s (IFTA) 2015 Regional Study Tour. This registration includes hotel accommodations Read More
FruitsCalifornia’s Delta Growers To Cut Water Use By 25%
May 26, 2015
The California State Water Resources Control Board have approved a proposal from riparian water right holders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Read More
CitrusSenate OKs Trade Priorities And Accountability Act
May 26, 2015
Late on the evening of Friday, May 22, the U.S. Senate approved the Trade Priorities And Accountability Act (TPA) of Read More
Apples & PearsSolve Your Labor Problems From Within
May 26, 2015
Summer is here, which means harvest season is just around the corner. Hopefully you’ll have the crews you need this Read More
FruitsWater Conservation Grants Awarded In Pacific Northwest
May 26, 2015
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has awarded 17 Water Conservation Field Services Program (WCFSP) grants in the Pacific Northwest Region, Read More
Operation Outdoor Freedom participants
CitrusFlorida Proud To Be Home Of The Brave [Opinion]
May 25, 2015
Operation Outdoor Freedom invites wounded service members and veterans of the U.S. military to enjoy recreational activities in state forests and on private lands. Read More
FruitsQ&A With Penn State’s New Young Grower Alliance Coo…
May 22, 2015
Erin Dugan recently joined Penn State University extension as a specialty crop innovations program manager and Young Grower Alliance coordinator. Read More
FruitsHow To Start A Young Grower Association
May 22, 2015
You have recently returned to your family’s business. You have friends and family you can tap for their knowledge and Read More
Expansion groundbreaking for Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
CitrusSouthwest Florida Research And Education Center Embraci…
May 20, 2015
A 7,000-square-foot addition to the UF/IFAS facility will house labs and offices for potential new faculty members. Read More
storm clouds
CitrusSouth Florida Rainy Season Could Wind Up On Drier Side
May 20, 2015
National Weather Service anticipating El Niño to play a hand in possible below-normal conditions. Read More
Food SafetyProduce Safety Alliance Offers Course To Become A Certi…
May 20, 2015
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) has announced dates for their first two Train-the-Trainer courses this June. The first of the Read More
Fruits$10 Million Available For California Water Conservation…
May 19, 2015
Applications for the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) California State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) are now Read More
CitrusBad Weather Or Not, Preparation Always On Radar For Flo…
May 19, 2015
You cannot prevent a natural disaster from taking everything you have, but you can lessen the blow if and when it happens. Read More
FruitsGreen Fruitworm Numbers High In Pennsylvania
May 19, 2015
In their latest insect report, David Biddinger and Grzegorz Krawczyk, tree fruit entomologists discuss the timing of pest control applications Read More
FruitsUSDA To Invest $21M To Help Growers Cope With Drought
May 18, 2015
USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will allocate $21 million for growers and ranchers to apply conservation practices in the Read More
BB Hobbs Inc. warehouse in Plant City, FL
CitrusBB Hobbs Bolsters Business In Central Florida
May 18, 2015
Irrigation specialists celebrate opening of new branch warehouse in Plant City. Read More
Disease ControlHow To Control Disease During Rainy Weather
May 18, 2015
The recent warm, wet weather conditions are prime for fungal and bacterial diseases, says Annemiek Schilder of Michigan State University Read More
FertilizerBioWorks Launches New Fertilizer And Biostimulant
May 15, 2015
BioWorks, Inc., launched ON-Gard, a new organic fertilizer and biostimulant. ON-Gard is a 100% plant-derived product with organic nitrogen and Read More