Facing climate change with new generation rootstocks from Winegraft!

It is a big success for the experimental root stocks that Prof. Scienza and his team at Milano University built up in the 80s and that could come out and be scaled up for the market thanks to Winegraft society created last year . Vivai Cooperativi di Rauscedo responsible of industrial production will release scion/stock plants from 2016 of Italian grape varieties signed by UniMi and Winegraft and guaranteed in terms of sanitary and genetics by IpadLab (Milano Uni spin-off).


The project Winegraft that we presented in our website last year has come to a new step, the scions of rootstocks series “M” have already been requested by universities in France (Bordeaux) and Spain (La Rioja) to experience with their typical grape varieties grafts (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and Tempranillo). Serie M1 and M3 being low vigor plants are adapted to the climate in Bordeaux and M4 resistant to drought more adapted for the future of La Rioja.


The propagation of grapevine was rescued from phylloxera crisis thanks to the grafting of European scions on American rootstocks, during late XIX-early XX hybrids between American rootstocks appeared to be ideal for facing also active limestone and drought in certain European wine regions. Some of those first generation rootstocks are still used and little development has been made to adapt to new viticulture conditions.


Today’s challenge is to preserve the high quality wines in equilibrium with sustainable viticulture and the difficulties grape growers are facing are: an increase of soil salinity and of water demand, consequences of climate change.


We look forward to tracking the development of this important project until 2030 and we are grateful to the initiative of Italian producers (Winegraft) who were able to ensure financial support (half million €) to university and overcome the gap between university research and the market.