On-site grafting, English style
For the past two years, we have learned to rejuvenate our vines by grafting our old vines, and help our vineyards from becoming infected with ESCA (a trunk disease). We thus maintain a well-established root system and preserve our genetic heritage by using grafts directly from the old vines from our plots (this is called mass selection).
The principle is quite simple but requires practice in order to have success. We cut the vine under the graft bead in order to start from the rootstock, which is the underground part of the vine. We cut into this rootstock with a slight horizontal incision in which we slide a graft (the aerial part of the vine which corresponds to the grape variety) on each side in order to have a better chance of recovery. The idea is to adjust the cambiums of the rootstock and grafts so that they can heal and become one.