Saturday, June 2, 2012

La Pievuccia: Grapevine Grafting

HB: This past week we visited La Pievuccia farm and eco-tourism center. They make their own natural wines, as well as their own olive oil and many other products. The winery was about a 30 minute walk from the Santa Chiara center. They grow many types of grapes for their different types of wines and olives for their olive oil. The winery also has its own restaurant where everything they serve is organic and fresh from their own farm which they take great pride in. An interesting aspect of grape growing in Europe that I learned about was grafting. An louse named Phylloxera feeds on the leaves and roots of the vines. The American vines were resistant but the European ones were not, so when Phylloxera got introduced in Europe it swept through and killed most of the grapevines. So grafting was used in order to interrupt the life cycle of the louse and help give the European vines the same resistance that the American vines had. They would grow American vines, then cut off the vines above ground and graft the roots of the resistant variety with vines of the grape variety they wanted to grow. In this way, the new 'combo' plant  would be resistant, while still growing the grape variety wanted.  It was really neat to see this concept in practice at this winery. They worked hard to produce great products that people would enjoy and want to buy, and they seem very successful at it.

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