Foundation Plant Services is pleased to announce the release of five new Pierce’s disease (PD) resistant grapevine cultivars developed in Dr. Andy Walker’s grape breeding program. Walker used classic breeding techniques to confer PD resistance from the North American wild grape species Vitis arizonica to the cultivated winegrape V. vinifera. The five newly released cultivars include three red winegrapes and two white winegrapes that have demonstrated resistance to PD in greenhouse and field evaluations and have shown high fruit and wine quality. These cultivars will be particularly sought-after by growers in regions where PD is widespread and where the existing resistant winegrapes lack the potential to make quality wine. Walker and his staff have screened through thousands of seedlings while pursuing these new releases. Walker explains, "These new varieties are far more resistant than any existing alternatives and have excellent wine quality that has been affirmed at tastings with industry renowned California winemakers. They will allow the 4 to 5% of the North Coast acreage currently under chronic PD pressure to produce wine and allow other hot spot areas, like the Southern Coast, to successfully grow winegrapes." Complete cultivar descriptions can be found in the linked document.
A limited number of cuttings will be available through FPS to participants in the California Grapevine Registration & Certification Program. Propagation material will be made available to nurseries that have completed licensing through UC Davis InnovationAccess. The FPS order form can be downloaded at: http://fps.ucdavis.edu/fgrmaterials.cfm. Questions related to placing an order for FPS material should be directed to James Shoulders at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in propagating and selling any of these cultivars, you will need to request a license from UC Davis InnovationAccess by phone at (530) 754-8674, or by email at email@example.com. Propagation material cannot be released or sold by nurseries until after licensing is completed.
Complete cultivar descriptions (PDF)