Top Grafting


Why is top grafting profitable?

At the technical level, you can:
  • rapidly modify planted grape varieties while only losing a single harvest;
  • maintain a healthy, well developed root system and rapidly obtain a mature wine;
  • rapidly experiment with new cultivars or clones, before deciding on planting;
  • conserve the existing trellis structure;
  • rejuvenate older vine trunks (necrosis, fungal diseases in wood);
  • rapidly modify the training and pruning system;
  • carry out your own grafts in the field, directly onto rootstock and thus benefit from existing and longer lasting root system;
  • standardize the assortment of grape varieties, and even improve mixed plantations.

At the practical level, you can:
  • guarantee success due to conservation of a terminal stem which keeps the stock alive and enables re-grafting on the same trunk;
  • optimize contact between the cambium of both the rootstock and the scion to ensure continuity of the vascular system and increase the chances of success;
  • have semi-mechanized techniques (bud-cutting shears).

From an economic point of view:

Top grafting is a profitable investment

Because the root system of a vine is more robust than the aerial parts, and longer lasting, top grafting can be confronted to replanting as far as vineyard restructuring is concerned. Subsidies of the conversion programmes for vineyards in France and the EU also cover restructuring by top grafting.

It is therefore interesting to compare the cost of restructuring by top grafting with standard uprooting and replanting.

Example: a trellised plot of 3.000 vines with a per-hectare profit of € 6,300 in a French vineyard. By adding up the overall cost of the operation and the loss of harvests (a single year for top grafting compared to 3 in the case of uprooting and replanting), top grafting offers a saving of more than € 20,000.
In addition, with our decreasing scale of charges, the greater the number of vines to be top grafted, the lower the price per graft, and the greater the profit in comparison with uprooting and replanting. Profit per hectare will also be a deciding factor in favour of top grafting since, in the case of uprooting and replanting, the greater the profit per hectare, the greater the loss with regard to unproductive years.

The cost of restructuring by top grafting is therefore 2 to 4 times lower than restructuring by uprooting and replanting.
Of course, over the long term, these differences will tend to fade since top grafting will not rejuvenate or extend the life of a vineyard. However, the return on investment of top grafting is nevertheless considerable. Top grafting is usually used to replace a grape variety or clone of low commercial value and poor flavour, with the immediate advantage of a grape better adapted to the terroir, more characteristic in flavour or more consumer oriented. A noticeably greater profit margin from the first year of production will then be seen.
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Improving quality through grafting and top-grafting
 Improving quality through grafting and top-grafting
Worldwide Vineyards's Expert top-grafting skills in growing demand
 Worldwide Vineyards's Expert top-grafting skills in growing demand