Field chip budding (bud grafting) is the process of taking a piece of one vine (the bud in this case) and grafting it onto the rootstock of another vine. It is done to change the type of grape on the rootstock, and is a great way to obtain the vines of the desired fruit. We try to complete this process between spring and the end of summer so the buds can develop within the rootstock, then go dormant until the following spring.
We prefer this method over purchasing the vines at the nursery, because we know the full health of the bud prior to adding it to our vineyard. We are able to get clippings from our own clones, and since we know the history of the vine, we are aware if the plant had viruses before grafting.
This system needs skilled workers who can move quickly, and know the vines very well. We are lucky to have a a group of people, led by Gustavo Infante, our Vineyard Manager, who have these skills.
In the video below, they are grafting Vermentino onto the original rootstock.
How to Chip-Bud
Select scion sticks or buds from well-matured canes that are fresh, and not dried out.
Select a smooth place on the stock slightly above soil level.
Notch the rootstock by making a downward cut and, cut lightly so as not to break the stem.
Cut the bud stick just below the and above the bud, and create a V-shape at the bottom to insert into the notch on the root stock.
Tie with a rubber band or strip of material around the rootstock and the bud to ensure the bud is secure in the rootstock.
Then cover the stock with the dirt and water it to moisten it.
Once this is all complete, it will take about 3 to 4 weeks to develop, and will remain dormant until the following spring.
Reasons for Chip Budding
To correct mixed varieties in an established vineyard.
To change varieties in an established vineyard.
To obtain vines on roots tolerant to certain soil conditions.
To repair broken to damaged vines.