Vine Production

Grafted Vine Production

About 70% of Boulevarde Nurseries production are dormant bench grafted grapevines.

Hardwood cutting propagation material is cut from high health status mother plants in May, June or July and delivered to the nursery. The mother vines are mainly on Victorian and Murray Valley Vine Improvement Association blocks, with Boulevarde Nurseries maintaining their own source blocks in the district.

Contractors cut the rootstock and scion material and hot water treated at 50C for 30 minutes. This treatment surface sterilises the material and eliminates pathogens. Material is delivered to the nursery where it is cold stored in bulk bins.

Each batch of propagation material is carefully labelled with source block information as well as variety and clone identification.

Propagation material can be cold-stored for 12 months at 1.5C -2.5C but it is best used by the end of November.

Prepared and treated grafts are then placed in layers in polystyrene callusing boxes. Each box holds 250 grafts. Horticultural vermiculite is used between the layers of grafts and helps to retain moisture. A powdered Trichoderma formulation is applied around the tops and bases of the grafts to reduce the likelihood of pathogenic fungi.

Pallets of filled callusing boxes are moved into the callusing room, which is maintained at 27C, and a relative humidity of 95%. The callusing room has the capacity for about 45,000 grafts, which remain in the warm and humid environment for 11-21 days.

Prepared and callused graftlings are inserted into degradable cardboard tubes, known as Plantbands and then grown in the nurseries own potting mix.

Vines are planted in the Plantbands, which gradually degrade, thus reducing root disturbance. Forty-eight potted Plantbands fit into a polystyrene box where they remain for the rest of the time on the nursery and for dispatch to the growers.