I’ve been on a killing spree with grapevines for two years now. I follow the planting instructions, do everything I’m supposed to, prepare the hole to just the right depth, plant, nurture…and the vines keel over. Perhaps if I had discovered California Rootstock a bit sooner, and stopped buying grapevines from the grocery store, I would be well on my way to the backyard vineyard my husband so desperately yearns for. (In truth, he just doesn’t want to have to buy wine anymore; in lieu of purchasing good wine, he’s turned our bathroom closet into a science experiment full of gurgling vats of homemade “wineshine.”) Instead, I’ll be placing an order for yet MORE vines, but this time from California Rootstock. My hope for a vineyard is in their hands from here on out.
Editor’s Note: Please see comments below the article before doing any business with this company.
California Root Stock is one of the premier suppliers of grapes, planting and vineyard related supplies and educational materials for growers. Their grapes are sold to international wineries as well as the majority of vineyards in California, though they definitely cater to the individual wine guzzler grape grower as well. They offer a large selection of both natural and grafted grape vines. Grafted vines arrive somewhat mature, at two years old, which betters the chances of a heartier and healthier vine and cuts down on plant-to-harvest wait time. This is a huge selling point for those of us that don’t care nearly as much about the aesthetic beauty of a vineyard as we do about securing a ready supply of grapes.
They stock a ton of varieties: red, white, table wine and edible grapes. Their web site gives a detailed description on each variety, including planting and pruning instructions, irrigation techniques, (for the serious vintner), and the suggested growing zone as well. You’ll find additional, in depth resources in the way of helpful books on growing grapes and making wine listed on the site as well, including The Backyard Vintner: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Wine at Home, among others.
These guys will also warranty and replace vines, as long as the vines were planted according to their instructions, which REQUIRE the “planting sleeve.” (Maybe this has been the missing link for me?!?) The planting sleeve is made of recycled material and protects the vines from environmental conditions while they become established. The cost is only 75 cents per sleeve, which is so much cheaper than my method of buying new vines every f*^&#@g year.
California Root Stock offers free shipping on any order over $100.They also have a wholesale pricelist, (minimum order is 1000 vines), but have different requirements in place for wholesale orders, including a signed “growers contract.” I’m not totally sure what this entails, but for the little guy or “gentleman” farmer, I don’t think it would be an issue.
Grapevine prices at California Rootstock vary from about $7.99 to $14.99 depending on the variety of grape, with discounts available for volume orders.