We planted a grapevine garden in front of the winery this spring. One day, this vineyard garden will showcase all the different types of grape vines that can be found in this part of France. People will be able to tell the difference between Syrah and Grenache and Merlot and Cabernet by seeing the vines right beside each other.
But for now, the vines are tiny and all pretty much look the same. So this year, we’ve been using them to show visitors and tourists how grape vines look when they’re first planted.
It’s an interesting process since we rarely plant from seed anymore. Instead we use bench grafts that connect the variety we want to grow to a rootstock suited for that soil and rainfall.
When young, the graft is sealed in wax. We show everybody this waxy bit and get to use the young vines to illustrate the notion of grafting and rootstock. This can naturally lead into conversations about how deep roots go, why virtually all French vines are planted on American rootstock, and so on.
Photos of young grape vines
Click on any of the photos below for a larger view: