A tour of Yalumba Nursery in June gave Vinehealth Australia Board members insights into how grafted vines are produced and the demand for grafted material.
Manager of Yalumba Nursery Adam Hall said the nursery currently sells approximately 80% of grapevine material as grafted vines as opposed to own rooted vines.
“We sell these grafted vines into every state in Australia except for WA due to the quarantine requirements, with the most popular rootstock being Paulsen 1103,” Adam said.
“We also supply the table grape industry, and they almost exclusively want Paulsen, so that skews the numbers a bit.”
Yalumba Nursery was started in the 1970s when Yalumba Wines needed to replace vines at its Oxford Landing vineyard in the Riverland.
“We wanted to replant with grafted vines to help combat nematode and salt problems and get yield and quality back up to sustainable levels. Finding quality grafted vine material proved difficult, so we decided to do it ourselves,” Adam said.
The Yalumba Nursery was first established on the winery grounds in Angaston, moving into a purpose-built facility in 2001. Initially the nursery only supplied the Yalumba vineyards, but by the 1980s Yalumba Nursery was supplying vines commercially due to demand for grafted vines.
The nursery was expanded in 2017, which nearly doubled the capacity of the facility.
Adam said, like most grapevine nurseries, Yalumba Nursery produces propagation material to order – and the order to delivery window is approximately 18 months. “However, I know that some combinations of rootstock and variety/clone right now have a lead time of almost two years,” he said.
“But you’re planting a vineyard that’s going to last for, hopefully, 50 years, so it pays to plan ahead. If people order early enough, the supply is there.”
Adam said when it comes to rootstock choice, it’s important to understand your site conditions and what you’re trying to achieve quality-wise.
“Then, at the nursery, we can help people narrow down what might be the right rootstocks for them to suit those parameters,” he said.