In early September some winemakers, consultants and viticulturists were invited to tour the vineyards at UC Davis where Pierce’s disease (PD) resistant winegrape vines are being grown.
The grapes from these PD-resistant vines had just been harvested to make the 2013 vintage of wines.
The tour started with Dr. Andy Walker showing some of the parent plants in his breeding program. He discussed the pros and cons of using the different vines, while those on the tour were able to taste the ripe grapes from each vine to sample their individual characteristics.
Then the tour moved to vines that are at the end of the breeding process, about 20 of which were recently released to the UC Davis Foundation Plant Services. “It was fun to have people tour the vineyard and see what has been going on and get some feedback,” said Dr. Walker. “The PD-resistant vines are now virtually indistinguishable from vinifera and are making some really nice wines.”