The five new winegrape varieties proven to be resistant to Pierce’s disease appear to be popular with growers. After becoming available for purchase, nearly 20,000 vines of the new resistant selections were sold last year. Geneticist and professor of viticulture and enology at UC Davis, Dr. Andrew Walker said it took a little bit of luck, mixed with genetics, and a lot of hard work to bring the varieties to the industry. After the lengthy development process, the new selections are being welcomed by industry members.
“We went through thousands of seedlings over the last 15-16 years or so and the plants that we have released were crossed in 2009 primarily. So, it took another 10 years after we got that final stage to go through enough wine tasting evaluation and grow-outs in different sites to really be convinced that they were useful,” said Walker. “Many wineries and winemakers are telling us that these grapes stand alone. They are very high quality, and they are very excited about growing them as an individual and not necessarily as a blended product.”
Listen to the radio report below.