Rootstock – what does this mean?


You may have heard the word ‘rootstock’ being thrown around during discussions about grape varieties and vineyards.  In viticulture, a rootstock is the type of vine selected to be the root system (i.e. 5c) for the fruiting variety (i.e. riesling). The fruiting variety is usually a european wine-producing Vinifera vine and the rootstock is normally American in origin. The American rootstocks are used to overcome soil diseases, pests and other soil conditions. The images above display the differences between the rootstock (5c) and the grape variety (riesling). The image on the right displays the graft and a cane growing from either side of the graft. The leaf anatomy is also obviously different between the two – the riesling is the lower of the two leaves.

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