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The mother vine, the beginning of everything

Where do all the vines come from? In most cases they are purchased from nurseries. Some wine growers take cuttings from their own vineyard, but it is unusual. In France, nurseries have a total of 3564 hectares of mother plants or mother vines (vignes-mères), divided into 2002 hectares with rootstocks (porte-greffes) and 1562 hectares with grafts (greffons).

Merlot is the most planted graft, followed by Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Grenache, Ugni blanc, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Virtually all the permitted grapes are grown as grafts. If you buy a Cabernet Sauvignon you have 15 different clones to choose from and for Pinot Noir around 30 different clones are offered. The wine growers can choose between 28 different rootstocks.

The three most popular are SO4, 110 Richter and 3309 Couderc. The most common, SO4 (its full name is Sélection Oppenheim 4), is planted on 200 000 hectares in France. It is a crossing between Vitis berlandieri och Vitis riparia. Read more franceagrimer.fr

A young vine in spring

A young vine in spring, copyright BKWine Photography

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