Vivai Rauscedo technical booklets

Vivai Rauscedo technical booklets

Varietal Innovatoin

Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo and the Italian vineyards sector

The importance of Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo in the grapevine nursery business is highlighted with a yearly production of more than 60 million grafted vine plants. Today the 250 cooperative members are facing a very important and difficult task: to ensure and make available in the 28 vine-growing countries, where the Cooperative works, a perfect product in terms of morphological, genetic and sanitary quality.

The nurserymen members of Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo, under the control of the management organs of the Company, grow more than 1,100 hectares of nursery and 1,050 hectares of rootstock mother blocks: This is a huge production potential that allows each year to produce about 60 million grafted vines in more than 4,000 grafting combinations. The extension of nursery land, the favourable climate conditions, the professionalism of the cooperative members, allow obtaining an average outcome of 1st choice vines of 75%, with peaks of over 90%: such yields are simply unthinkable elsewhere. To achieve the levels it is necessary that all the biological processes involved in the production, from the formation of callus to the rooting, maturation and lignification are carried out under optimal conditions and give then rise to a flawless morphological quality, like the quality of VCR ( (Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo) products.

Experimentation: the true power for innovation

The secret of VCR’s primacy lies in the never-ending search for new varieties, clones and crossings that can give better and better results for the growers. Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo has gone through all the major strands of the research in the grapevine nursery domain, such as: from micropropagation to green-grafting, health checks through Elisa test and PCR, from cloning with weak selective pressure to the characterization of the clones through the evaluation of fine parameters. A decisive contribution to the improvement of quality are offered by Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo also through the 350 micro vinifications that are performed annually in the VCR Experimental Winery: they allow a constant check on the oenological potential of the different Italian and foreign clones that are the object of the multiplication; tasting sessions are also an opportunity for a fruitful dialogue between winemakers, growers and nurserymen in the interest of the entire wine industry.

Also in the domain of table grape varieties a particular effort has been made to the study and evaluation of new varieties, with seed and seedless, from Argentina, Moldova, Ukraine and Greece: some of these cultivars are nowadays widely used and appreciated in the more southern areas of the Italian peninsula and in the countries around the Mediterranean sea.

 In addition, in 2006 Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo, as a financing partner, joined the project "Sequencing and Characterisation of the Grapevine Genome" of the Institute for Applied Genomics of Udine, believing it will be crucial to be able to benefit in the medium-to-long term the results of a research aimed at obtaining disease-resistant varieties through hybridization. The innovation and scientific experimentation are therefore the true engines for VCR’s growth because they allow growers in all wine-growing areas of the world to improve the quality of their products through the use of VCR clones and grafted vines.

The importance of publications: from catalogs to VCR technical booklets

VCR catalogues, edited in different languages, represent real user manuals for the winegrowers. They highlight the varieties, clones and rootstocks that VCR use for the production of grafted vine plants. In the description of the different varieties, VCR paid the utmost attention in highlighting the main features of the cultivars with particular reference to their ampelographic characters, phenological periods, cultural attitudes and requirements in terms of training and pruning systems.The VCR catalogues also highlight aspects related to disease susceptibility with particular reference to downy mildew, powdery mildew, botrytis and phytoplasmas (grapevine yellows and Bois noir). The oenological potential for each wine variety is also described on the basis of knowledge that VCR has gained in over 40 years of micro vinifications carried out at the VCR Experimental Centre. Furthermore, for each described clone, though with the necessary concision, the catalogue presents the main agronomic characteristics: vigour, bunch, berry, yield. All the clones are also described through the sensory analysis and their oenological potential. The winegrowers from all over the world, therefore, by consulting the VCR catalogues, that are issued in different languages, can gain a wealth of information and, above all, take into consideration, when choosing varieties, clones and rootstocks, all the positive as well as the negative aspect of every presented cultivar. Another important information given in the catalogues is the extension of the growing area of each variety in the major wine growing countries.

Many VCR clones have undergone additional oenological tests, which have been carried out in partnership with the University of Milan and have allowed their oenological characterization by means of the assessment of the subtle parameters. Each clone has been thus described and detailed, not only in its agronomic behaviour, but also in its aromatic and, for red-berried clones, polyphenolic profile.The results of these thorough studies have been collected in the "VCR Technical Booklets" that are now available to growers and winemakers to help them in a more careful choice of the clones according to their oenological goals. Thanks to this research it has been also possible to design those clone/rootstock combinations capable of enhancing, even more, the agronomical and oenological specificities of each selection. By now, for many varieties the range of the original "VCR" clones faithfully represents all or almost all the existing intervarietal variability: this allows the optimisation of the clonal choice in accordance to each specific oenological target.

Patricija Muzlovic