What Are Wine Grape Rootstocks?

What Are Wine Grape Rootstocks? Are you looking to start a vineyard or winery but need help knowing where to begin? One of the first steps is selecting and planting grape rootstocks. Wine grape rootstocks are essential in successfully growing healthy vines and producing tasty, high-quality wines.


They provide vital support for the vine while safeguarding it from environmental stresses like drought, frost, soil-borne disease, pest resistance, or even tolerance for certain soil conditions, like high pH. In this blog post, we will answer all these questions and provide relevant information on how wine grape rootstocks benefit the quality of your wines. Read on to learn more about wine grape rootstocks, their benefits, and how you can incorporate them into your viticultural endeavors.

What are wine grape rootstocks, and how do they work?


Wine grape rootstocks are:

  • The base of all vineyard planting.
  • Providing a solid foundation for growth.
  • Anchoring plants in place.
  • Protecting them from environmental stressors.

Rootstocks are typically selected based on their ability to withstand specific soil conditions (drought or high pH), resist diseases, offer cold tolerance, promote vigor in various vineyard sites, and improve vigor for certain varieties.

Grafting married, the V. vinifera variety to a North American vine species with natural immunity to phylloxera can prevent pest damage and more benefits to help Grape Rootstocks afterward.

Read more:

Do grapevines need rootstocks?

 Yes, grapevines need rootstocks. Rootstocks provide various benefits, such as soil and pest resistance, tolerance for certain soil conditions, improved vigor for certain vine varieties, and more. Rootstocks provide grapevines with innate protection against pests, such as nematodes and lice (including phylloxera), which would otherwise be lethal to the vine.

Rootstocks can also be used to promote specific vineyard characteristics that may not be possible without rootstocks. All these benefits make rootstock an important part of any viticulture endeavor.

Why Do Wine Growers Use Different Rootstocks?

Ripped up the vineyard and prepared to replant.

Different rootstocks are chosen for different reasons. Some rootstock varieties may be chosen for specific vineyard characteristics, such as increased vigor or drought tolerance. Other rootstocks may be chosen for their disease and pest resistance. Rootstocks can also be selected to improve growth rates in certain soil types, allowing growers to maximize the productivity of a vineyard. Rootstocks may sometimes be chosen to provide improved flavors and aromas for the finished wines.

Grape Growers need to follow about :

  1. Rootstocks resistant to soil pests, such as nematodes or phylloxera, are essential for successful vineyard plantings.
  2. Growers must consider the soil’s composition, including texture, depth, and fertility. This will help ensure their rootstock choice is well-suited to the specific vineyard site.
  3. Soil chemistry and pH levels will also influence the selection of an appropriate rootstock.
  4. Water and drainage are important considerations when selecting a rootstock. Therefore, growers should consider how much water the vineyard receives during the growing season and how well it drains.
  5. Growth and fruiting traits of the grape variety
  6. Availability of rootstocks

Finally, grape growers must consider the vine’s life cycle when selecting a rootstock. Vines can be replanted or replaced over time, so selecting a variety that will last through multiple growing seasons is important. Growers also use trial-and-error techniques to test theirs.

What Rootstocks Are Used for Grape Production?

Many types of rootstocks are used in grape production, including Vitis berlandieriVitis rupestrisVitis riparia, American, hybrid, and interspecific rootstocks. Some of the most commonly used include:

  • Vitis berlandieri is the most drought-resistant among the three species, capable of enduring long periods without water.
  • Vitis rupestris is naturally found in rocky soils close to stream beds and is adapted to fluctuating water availability near the soil surface and deeper down the soil horizon.
  • Vitis riparia with its shallow root system, could be better suited for drought conditions.

Popular grapevine rootstocks in the wine industry


There is a wide array of grapevine rootstocks available to winegrowers, each with its unique characteristics and benefits. Some of the most popular rootstocks in the wine industry include:

  • Riparia Gloire: Highly resistant to Phylloxera and well-adapted to cool climates, Riparia Gloire is a popular choice for winegrowers in regions such as Burgundy and Champagne.
  • 110 Richter: Known for its resistance to drought and high vigor, 110 Richter is often used in regions with challenging growing conditions, such as the Mediterranean and South America.
  • 3309 Couderc: With moderate vigor and good resistance to nematodes, 3309 Couderc is a popular choice for winegrowers looking to balance yield and fruit quality.
  • SO4: Widely used for its adaptability to various soil types and resistance to nematodes, SO4 is a versatile rootstock that can be found in vineyards across the globe.

This is just a small sample of the many rootstock options available to winegrowers, and the ideal choice will depend on the unique circumstances and objectives of each vineyard.

How to select the best rootstock for your vineyard?

Selecting the right rootstock for your vineyard is an important step in grape production. In selecting a rootstock, growers must consider their soil type, climate conditions, and pest resistance needs.

Selecting a variety that will grow well in the long term is also important, as vines may be replanted or replaced over time. Ers should also use trial and error when deciding which rootstocks to use in their vineyards.

With proper research and planning, grape growers can create a successful vineyard and achieve the highest yields possible.

Tips for planting and maintenance of a grapevine with a rootstock

Grape growers should prepare the soil before planting a grapevine with a rootstock. This includes cultivating and tilling the site and testing and amending the soil as needed. Once ready, one can proceed to plant the grapevine and rootstock.

When planting grapevines with rootstocks, it is important to ensure that the plants are planted in well-drained soil at least two feet deep to have enough space to grow. Growers may also consider adding compost or other organic matter to improve nutrient availability and water retention in their vineyards.

After planting, growers need to provide proper maintenance for their vines. This includes pruning, training, irrigating, and fertilizing. Pruning is important to ensure the vine has good air circulation and light exposure for optimal fruit production. Training involves tying the vines to encourage a strong trunk and root system, while irrigation and fertilization help maintain healthy vines.

Grape growers should also monitor their plants for any signs of disease or pest damage throughout the year. Regularly scouting for problems is essential to prevent any potential issues from becoming serious and damaging the overall health of the vineyard.

By properly selecting, planting, and maintaining grapevines with rootstocks, growers can create a successful vineyard that has produced high-quality grapes for many years.

Challenges associated with using rootstocks in viticulture

Using rootstocks in viticulture can be a complex process and comes with its own set of challenges.

One of the main challenges is that rootstocks are only sometimes adapted to local soils and climate conditions. Growers must select rootstocks carefully to ensure they are compatible with their vineyard’s needs.

In addition, when selecting rootstocks, it is important to consider how long the vine will live, as vines may need to be replaced or replanted over time. This means growers should opt for varieties that can withstand multiple growing seasons without needing to be replaced.

Finally, disease and pest resistance is another major challenge associated with using rootstocks in viticulture. Different grape varieties have varying levels of resistance to various diseases, pests, and environmental hazards, so growers need to select rootstocks capable of withstanding their local climate.

Choosing the right rootstock for a vineyard is critical for successful grape production. Growers must consider their soil type, climate conditions, and pest resistance needs to ensure they select a rootstock that will grow well in the long term. With proper care and maintenance, growers can create a successful vineyard that produces high-quality grapes.


What are the characteristics of grape rootstock?

Grape rootstocks can vary widely in terms of disease and pest resistance, vigor, hardiness, adaptability to local soil and climate conditions, and root depth.

This variety has high resistance to phylloxera and moderate resistance to root-knot nematodes. Growers should select this grape rootstock to achieve the best results. 

What benefits do rootstocks provide?

Rootstocks have many benefits, including increased vigor, disease, pest resistance, better adaptability to local soil and climate conditions, improved nutrient absorption and water retention, more efficient root systems for better anchorage, and greater hardiness.

Growers can create a successful vineyard with high-quality grapes by selecting the right rootstock. 

What are the roots of wine vines?

The roots of wine vines are typically composed of two parts: the rootstock, which is an underground part that provides the vine with growth and vigor, and the scion, which is a shoot grafted onto the rootstock that then produces its shoots and fruit.

The rootstock helps anchor the vine in place while also providing extra vigor, nutrients, and water absorption capacity. 

What is 3309 rootstock?

3309 is a popular grape rootstock used in viticulture. It provides excellent anchorage and vigor and exhibits moderate resistance to phylloxera and drought tolerance.

This rootstock also has a good degree of resistance to certain nematodes, making it well-suited for sandy soils or areas with humid climates. Like other rootstocks in its category, this variety is believed to promote early fruit ripening. Vines on this rootstock are prone to overcropping and exhibit a high yield-to-pruning ratio.


Wine grape rootstocks form an important part of winemaking, providing benefits and drawbacks depending on the chosen type. While some varieties strongly resist phylloxera, others may be better for drought-tolerant vineyards. Ultimately, understanding the different types of wine grape rootstocks and how they influence the characteristics of the resulting wines can help producers make more informed decisions when selecting a variety best suited to their location and goals.

As we continue to witness changes in climate conditions across certain regions, emerging viticultural trends will likely drive producers towards grape varieties with deeper root systems or increased disease resistance traits such as those found in many modern rootstocks. In any case, one thing remains clear – without rootstocks, the world would be without one of its most beloved beverages.

Leave a Comment