Ever wanted to know what a grapevine looks like before it’s planted into the ground? Well, here you go! Andrew Jones, winemaker and proprietor of Fiction and Field Recordings, brought some very young Gamay vines with him to the tasting this past Sunday. In addition to his winemaking duties, he has spent the better part of the last decade working at a vine nursery planning and planting vineyards for farmers all over California. He knows his (vine) stuff.
“Everything starts from cuttings. We have mother blocks in Bakersfield area that we grow the selections. Prior to Bakersfield, the material came to us from multiple sources. Mostly UC Davis and Entav. UC Davis keeps the master mother blocks for all of the California industry. We import material from Entav which is a French government entity that keeps all of their stuff. A bunch of stuff we have, including that Gamay can be traced back to 1 original vine in France.”
“So basically we take cuttings off the mother blocks and graft them together. Every vineyard requires a specific formula of rootstock and clone. We pick the exact combination for the type of vineyard getting planted (High end juice/mass production/sparkling/still) and its soil and graft each order custom for that client.
After grafting we either grow in the greenhouse in a pot or in the field. The potted plants take 3 months to be ready. The ones in the field are grown for a year then dug up and delivered dormant. Similar to a bare root rose plant you find at the garden center.”