Things have slowed down in the vineyard since harvest, as you can imagine, but they haven't stopped. We are working on vine layering at the moment here at Conner Lee vineyard.
What is vine layering?
If you bury a live and healthy grapevine cane underground and bring it back up where a missing vine once was, each bud has the ability to sprout roots while being underground - which won’t happen if the buds are exposed to sunlight. Like other forms of asexual plant reproduction, vine layering produces daughter plants that are genetic duplicates of the mother vine.
Once roots sprout, it's easier for the new vine to grow because it feeds from the older vine. After two to three years of growth of the new vine, we will cut the connecting cane and the new vine should have a strong and determined enough root system to be able to survive on its own.
Why we do it
We practice vine layering to propagate new grape vines that will replace older vines that have died out - a common occurrence each year in a small percentage of vines, typically in older blocks. Conner Lee and Stoneridge are our older vineyards and where we perform the majority of this operation.
We find that this technique is successful about 90% of the time and when it is unsuccessful, it's due to human rather that Mother Nature's error. Pretty cool, right? Do you have any questions for us? We'll do our best to answer them for you.
Huge thanks to Enrique, our Vineyard Manager at Conner Lee, for helping to explain this process.