Caught on film: field grafting at Quinta da Leda, the Douro Superior

A visit to Quinta da Leda provided the opportunity to witness field grafting a vine first hand.

This is what happened next – a protective collar to protect the tender new bud sticks.

Why do it? Field grafting enables a producer to switch grape variety without having to replant. By replacing only the top, fruit-bearing part of a vine, you can maintain the existing (developed) root system and hardy lower trunk. This in turn means that production is barely interrupted.

In fact just the previous day, I’d tasted barrel samples of Touriga Nacional from old vines and from vines which had been field grafted over just a two years previously from Tinta Cao. Both were lovely wines and, given field grafting involves seemingly major reconstructive surgery, I was amazed by how quickly the graft takes.

And just to finish off, here’s a view looking back towards Quinta da Leda from the neighbouring vineyard, Duorum’s Quinta da Castela Melhor.

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