We are thrilled to present you a three-part viticultural series that will take a deep dive into the grafted grapevine. Thomas Dormegnies, of the highly respected Berillon Nursery in France, will share his expertise and experience to help you discover how grafted grapevines are produced, the impact of high-quality vine plant material on viticulture, how diversity and sustainability in the vineyard starts from the grafted grapevine plant itself and finally the importance of rootstocks.
Join Thomas Dormegnies of Berillon Nursery as he walks us through grafted grapevine production from start to finish. Learn the steps, the vocabulary, and the thought processes behind the technique! Thomas will discuss reception and preparation of scions and rootstocks, whip and tongue (English cleft) grafting, stratification, planting, maintenance, sorting, hot water treatment and storage before delivery. This webinar will cover the basics in preparation for a deep dive into cloning and breeding on July 5.
Join Thomas for part 2 of the Grafted Grapevine series as he explores the genetic mass selection of grape varieties intended for grafting. Berillons team of breeders only source its scion material from old vine vineyards in order to identify, build-upon and preserve intra-varietal genetic diversity. The selected cuttings are tested to make sure the specimens are virus-free before being propagated. These same steps are carried out for international, regional, heritage and forgotten grape varieties. The next session will focus on rootstocks and their relationship to soil and climatic stresses.
For the final webinar of the series, Thomas will focuses on rootstocks, the living link between scion and soil. Berillon has a collection of 20 different rootstock varieties that can accommodate a wide variety of different pedological and climatic constraints. One rootstock does not fit all! Thomas will discuss this link between rootstock and terroir, and how they may impact flavor. As climate continues to change, as farming practices continue to change, rootstocks have been and are increasingly key to vine health. Find out why!
Vine Breeder and Engineer at Berillon Nursery
Thomas graduated from the Agronomic Engineering School of Rennes in Plant Selection and Improvement and of Montpellier in Viticulture-Oenology, He has been working as a vine breeder in the wine nursery for 18 years. This work of plant archeology, also called "mass selection", consists of identifying future candidates found in old vineyards and breeding them in the nursery.
Passionate about plants, he roams the old vineyards of France and Europe in search of the widest possible genetic diversity, whether for the most multiplied international grape varieties or "modest" or forgotten grape varieties. This work requires a solid knowledge of plant physiology as well as ampelography, or the art of distinguishing grape varieties from one another using leaves, twigs or fruits.
His activity within the Berillon Nursery (www. lilian-berillon. fr) also leads him to follow the planting projects of their clients, advising them both on the choice of their plant material and on the management of their soils. This is a comprehensive approach that links agronomy and pedology for the sake of sustainability and transmission of plantations.
Thomas is also a winemaker along the French Atlantic coast, he, therefore, has complete experience of the wine industry, from the selection of future vines to the vinification and marketing of the wines.
June is a time of great change in the vineyard. At the beginning of the month, the vines have short shoots with berries that have just set. By the end of the month, the shoots are almost fully grown and have discernable clusters. This is a period of rapid cell division for the berries. With regard to the clusters, the number of individual cells within each berry increases in preparation for the next phase of cell expansion (to be covered in July) when the final berry size is largely determined.
Rick's Pick: University of Tarragona instructor and winemaker, Antoni Sanchez-Ortiz focuses on climate change and how viticulture must adapt in Spain’s DOQ Priorat region.
The mesoclimate determines climatic differences due to the topography of the Priorat and that give rise to local modifications or changes that can affect to more or less ample extensions. Factors that condition them include distance to the sea, altitude, orientation, exposure, and latitude. Between nearby municipalities, noticeable differences in temperature, precipitation, insolation and thermal amplitude can be seen, which affect the processes of growth, bud breaking, fruit formation, ripening and, ultimately, the composition of grapes. The prediction of an interval of concentrations of color and tannins would be of utmost importance to define qualities and styles of wine, given the great inter-parcel variability observed in plots of Grenache and Carignan vines within the Priorat DOQ.
Here is his bio, as narrated by Antoni:
I was born in December 4th, 1978 into a family with few financial resources in a small valley in the Spain’s Pyrenees. Although my parents never had the chance to go to school, I had some talent to study science and so continued my studies until college. After five years in college, I majored in analytical chemistry and more particularly to assess the degree of chemistry in the University of Barcelona. After I worked in corrosion of automobile engines and intercoolers using the Swaat Tecnique, at Frape Behr. Quickly I moved into the development of a GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy) methods to determine fatty acid composition from raw materials (mainly palm and coconut oil), where I worked at Henkel Düsseldorf plant in Germany for one year after obtaining a scholarship.
It was there almost by chance where I took a course of wine tasting and there began my interest in the discovery of quality wines. Consequently I fell in love with fine wines. In the following years, after studying enology within the University Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona (Spain) and the University Victor Segalen in Bordeaux. I graduated as a winemaker at 23 years of age. For 18 years now I have worked full time within the demanding context of producing world-class wines, both as a winemaker and as a viticulturist in the renowned appellation of Priorat,Spain. For many years I have also worked closely with the renowned French consulting enologist Claude Gross, and have travelled to California to study the Pinot Noir blending techniques of Sea Smoke Cellars, the acclaimed Pinot Noir producer near Santa Barbara, California. I like obtaining outstanding fine wines with a unique personality, making a superb red wine in the Priorat wine growing region, as an expression of varietal and site showcases the best which region’s true native character. Currently, with the consulting company I am also committed to producing one of the high-end, handmade organic olive oil in Spain’s Pyrennees. My conviction that great wine results from an intimate knowledge of the land arises from additional experience in vineyard management and climate warming studies as a PhD candidate with the Viticulture Department at the Faculty of Enology in Tarragona.
Join Nova Cadamatre, MW for another look into the vineyard this time focusing on the difference between training and trellising. Find out what each is and then learn about how both are applied and how a vineyard manager might choose which system to use.
Nova Cadamatre is a winemaker, writer, and blogger. As one of the first graduates of Cornell’s Viticulture and Enology program in 2006, Nova relocated to California to assume a number of winemaking roles. She has worked for numerous iconic wineries in CA including Robert Mondavi Winery, Souverain, Beringer, and Chateau St. Jean. She was also involved as a contestant in the Ningxia Winemaker Challenge making wine in Ningxia, China with Lansai Chateau from 2015-2017.
In 2017, she became the first female winemaker to become an MW in the US and in 2014, Cadamatre was named to Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 under 40 list. She has numerous 90+ scoring wines to her credit and writes her blog at www.novacadamatre.com
From the climate to legislation, from equipment to personnel, growing and making wine in China has unique challenges to overcome. This webinar will delve into the trials and rewards of producing great wine in China, looking at 5 of the major growing regions, while outlining the history of viticulture in China and throwing light on the position that grape wine holds in Chinese culture both now and in the past.
Fongyee Walker MW (Master of Wine) is the co-founder, with Edward Ragg, of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting, Beijing’s first and fully independent wine consulting and education service (est. 2007). Fongyee has delivered both WSET course and special trade-targeted wine courses in Mandarin for such bodies as Wine Australia, the Hawke’s Bay Wine Association, the Napa Valley Vintners and numerous other groups, as well as creating a number of unique wine courses specifically tailored to mainland Chinese students. She became the first Master of Wine (MW) resident in mainland China in 2016 with her dissertation on winter vine burial practices in Hebei and Ningxia.
As a wine judge, Fongyee has judged at numerous wine competitions including the International Wine Challenge (UK), the Hong Kong International Wines and Spirits Competition and has been guest international judge for the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, Old Mutual Trophy (South Africa) Wine Show, the Qantas Western Australia Wine Show, AWOCA (Wines of Chile), the Hunter Valley Wine Show as well as many other regional wine shows. Fongyee has also written articles for Decanter Magazine, Wine Review, RVF China and Wine in China, among other Chinese wine magazines. She has also been a columnist for Decanter China, writing about educational issues.
Fongyee is also the star of Wok ’n Wine 品尝中国, a popular internet-broadcast show about food and wine matching with Chinese cuisines with more than 4 million viewers, as well as a new show (2021) Carpe Vinum 意大利美酒之游, featuring the wine and food of Italy.
After frost season, bloom (flowering) is the first real milestone of the vintage. Harvest follows approximately 100 days after this event. Now that the growing season is in full swing, weather has real repercussions for how the vintage shapes up.
Grapevines have what are known as “perfect flowers.” They have both male and female parts; they self-pollinate. This means that they do not need insects such as bees for pollination to occur (as is common in many other fruits), nor is wind necessary (as is common in some tree species).
With warmer weather, bud break comes quickly. The tiny buds swell and then quickly reveal small, fuzzy, green leaves as the shoot primordia begin to elongate. These shoot primordia will become fully developed shoots over the next few weeks!
Although the exact timing of bud break varies from location to location and from year to year, cooler growing areas can have bud break as late as May; warmer regions as early as March. Either way, bud break officially starts the new vintage for the vines!
After several months of dormancy, the first signs of the new vintage begin to show in March (in temperate to warm climates). The fresh pruning wounds begin to “bleed.” This initial sap flow is triggered by rising temperatures. Shortly after the bleeding stops, the buds will begin to swell.
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