Grapevine clones Heirloom Plant Material Rootstock

Old Vines: For Fascinating Wines

In the early days of grapevine propagation our focus was on stable yields, healthy grapes and excellent wine quality. As our own winery, St. Urbans-Hof established itself as a high quality producer over the past two decades, we kept asking ourselves: how can wine quality be enhanced through our work as grapevine breeders? Soon we realized that new frontiers lay in the genetics of old vines.

As much as the selection and propagation of a certain clone guarantees plant health and attributes such as cluster formation, berry colour and taste, it can constrain the vintner in other areas of winemaking. Because our oldest vineyard blocks are disease free, we are trying to extract the individual genetic qualities that enhance flavour complexity through genetic selection from our pool of old vines.

This process is rather lengthy and often fortuitous. Every year, we perform a visual evaluation of various vineyards, including our own, throughout the Mosel/Saar/Ruwer region. Through this process we have discovered vines with great diversity in growth patterns, yield, cluster shape, colour, taste, ripening potential and fungus resistance. We have secured this material and through propagation have incorporated it into our existing clonal material. These vines, with their unique attributes, are now growing in our vineyards and will soon be commercially available.

If you would like more information on our heirloom clonal research, please contact us.