How do vines grow?

Foreign [Music] ER an international wine Communicator Educator and television presenter now Have you ever visited a Vineyard or seen A picture of one you might imagine that Vines naturally grow in neat Self-contained rows a bit like the ones Behind me But a wild Grapevine left to its own Devices would twist and turn its way up The nearest tree using its tendrils to Grab onto anything it can until it Finally breaks through into the light However this long-tangled Vine is Unlikely to produce a particularly tasty Copper fruit most of its energy is going Into growing and climbing A grape grower needs to control the vine In order to make it to concentrate more Energy into ripening its grapes in Theory anyone can go and buy a few Vines And start cultivating a miniature Vineyard I mean it's no different from Shopping at a garden center and you can Just pick the variety you want But you can't simply plant the seeds of Your chosen variety for example Chardonnay you have to buy a cutting From an existing Chardonnay Vine If you do you'll notice a join part way Along the plant this is the graft where A European variety has been joined with An American rootstock

The grafting together of two plants was Originally introduced to combat a nasty Little pest called phylloxera which Destroyed many of Europe's Vineyards in The late 1800s and it still lives in Soils throughout the world American Vine species are resistant to Phylloxera but the fruit of the European Vine is considered to be of better Quality for winemaking So for this reason in the majority of The world's Vineyards an American Vine Provides Roots while a European Vine Produces the grapes Once the vine is planted it takes a few Years before it will give the grower a Good crop of fruit as Vines are natural Climbers they need support to grow Upright in the vineyard this support System is called a trellis Grape Growers will carefully prune the Vine into a shape that allows them easy Access to the fruit maximizes the Ripening of the grapes and provides the Vine with the right conditions to thrive Mine's actually not the most demanding Of plants they can tolerate quite Extreme conditions that other fruiting Plants cannot they've been known to Produce fantastic grapes when they have Very little access to water or nutrients For example in the Moselle region in Germany the best Vineyards are found on Very steep slopes with slate soils right

Next to the river Well it might be tough for the grape Grower to work there the vines don't Seem to mind And France they grow wonderful grapes in Vineyards there which are covered in Large Stones known as galats where very Little else will grow The vine is one of Nature's true Survivors [Music] A Little Help From Us humans That needs to thrive is sunshine warmth A little water and nutrients in the soil It is easy to see why this miraculous Plant has been such a popular crop for Thousands of years We hope you enjoyed this three minute Wine School visit WSET to Find out more about taking a WSET course