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.
8 thoughts on “California Rootstock – Fulfilling a Wino’s Dream of a Backyard Vineyard”
I am quite surprised of some of the bad comments about California Rootstock. I bought 100 vines of Chardonnay last year and was more than satisfied with the product. I had 100% success and my vines grew uncredibly well. I am going to buy another 200 for this year’s planting. One thing I must say is that their customer service could be a lot better. getting them on the phone can be a chalenge. I just think they do not have the people to handle it. I guess I traded price for customer service. What I did not trade was quality. The product price performance ratio was very good.
i orderd from these guys was not pleased at first with no email replyes no phone return but they came trew wiyh my complete order
California Rootstock is a complete joke. My ordered was recieved about 6 weeks late, severly incomplete. I have emailed, left voicemails, and even faxed! them, NO replies. These guys are crooks, DO NOT BUY FROM THEM!
This company is the terrible service. I purchased the grapes vines,but sipped the dead vines and requested to replace by a phone and an Internet mail.
They never responded on my message and I had to give up for replacing .
Don,t deal with this company,,,,
Check further into this company, California Rootstock, and you will find they are NOT reputable. I purchased and paid for vines and never received them nor would the company return my numerous phone calls and emails. Beware!
Cori, thanks very much for your comment. I ran a check of the company via the Better Business Bureau and found they currently have an “F” rating. The BBB showed three complaints within the last three years, two due to “Delivery Issues” and one due to “Problems with Product / Service.” We also found several complaints documented on the RipOffReport.com website. We’re not sure if this makes them completely disreputable, but it certainly is enough to give me pause before placing an order with them. For anyone considering ordering, we recommend using caution and doing your own due diligence to determine if you’re comfortable doing business with them. If anyone has any alternative suggestions for a similar resource, please post them in the comments.
Thanks for the tip on the California rootstock site! Please keep us updated on your success. I’d like to plant table grapes next year (just to give me time to select an area and prepare it for planting and irrigation).
Thanks again, Liz.
Our pleasure Liz! Let us know how your grape growing experiment goes as well!