The Maintenance and Expansion of a Genetic Source for Vines

Project Number

Project title
The maintenance and expansion of a genetic source for vines

Project leader
Burger, P

Project description
Examples of Vitis spp. and cultivars from all over the world are established in a collection for use in ampelographic and other studies and to serve as a grape gene bank for future use.

The project leader took import permits for the 23 plant units that were unsuccessfully requested during the past two years to the Peoples Republic of China during his visit to the University of Zhejiang in Hangzhou. With the help of a Chinese lector at the university the permits were distributed to the different institutions. However, due to the Chinese bureaucracy this might also prove to be unsuccessful. To prevent the loss of promising table and raisin grape cultivars and hybrids, 54 units were grafted in the gene bank. A request for early ripening grape varieties suitable for their climate was received from Denmark. However, no material was send to them due to the fact that they already had the recommended cultivars established in their gene bank.

Phenological characteristics of all plant units older than three years were collected. Dead vines will be replaced by grafting new samples in the block. Viticultural data was obtained of seven promising red and seven white wine grape cultivars and experimental wines were also made. Yield varied between 6.2 t per ha for Fontanara and 14.1 t per ha for Tannat. None of the cultivars were very sensitive to rot. Of the white cultivars Kanzler, Moscatuel and Mariensteiner produced the best quality wines and Tannat, Domina an Kolor the best red wines. The quality of these white wines compare very good with that of Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc while the red wines’ quality were better than that of Cabernet Sauvignon. Due to the good acid content of these cultivars musts and good wine colour, they are either suitable for making cultivar wines or to be used for blending.

Approximately 100 students from the University of Stellenbosch and Elsenburg Agricultural College visited the gene bank for training in cultivar identification. The Directorate of Plant Health and Quality is monitoring the ampelography of certain cultivars for cultivar type on a continuous basis.

The evaluation of wine quality of new, promising cultivars and the import of promising cultivars from abroad will continue.

Van Schalkwyk, D. 2009. Grapevine gene bank at ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, Stellenbosch, 8 November

Jooste, E, Bester, R, Maree, H, De Koker, H and Burger, J T. 2012. A survey in white and red cultivars to determine the spread of GLRaV-3 variants in vineyards. 13th Grapevine Virus Workshop, ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 29 May 2012

Bester, C, Tobutt, K R, Mansvelt, E L, Blomerus, L M, Jolly, N P, Pieterse, W, Smit , L and Van Schalkwyk, D. 2012. The value and impact of the ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij gene banks. 15-20 January, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Van Schalkwyk, D. 2004. Prestasie van enkele minder bekende Europese wyndruifkultivars onder Suid-Afrikaanse toestande, WineLand, Mnth Jan (p. 124-127)

Van Schalkwyk, D. 2010. Suid-Afrikaanse wingerdstok genebank by LNR Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, WineLand, Mnth Sep (p. 102)

Bester, C, Tobutt, K R, Mansvelt, E L, Blomerus, L M, Jolly, N P, Pieterse, W, Smit, L, Van Schalkwyk, D. 2013. The value and impact of the ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij genebanks, Acta Horticulturae, v. 2 (1007) (p. 975-980)

Van Schalkwyk, D. 2013. The impact of climate change on the bud and flowering dates of grapevine cultivars at ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij in Stellenbosch, Wynboer Technical Yearbook, (p. 62-66)

Van Schalkwyk, D, Schmidt, A. 2016. Minder bekende rooiwynkultivars. (Deel 1) WineLand, Mnth Jan (p. 82-84)

Van Schalkwyk, D, Schmidt, A. 2016. Minder bekende rooiwyn-kultivars (Deel 2) WineLand, Mnth Feb (p. 66-68)


De Villiers, F S. 1992. The importation, evaluation and release of wine grape cultivars. VORI 42.

Maintenance project for other projects. Continuous funding.

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