We grafted over a section of Roussanne yesterday, replacing it with Picpoul Blanc. Picpoul has thrived here, and its bright acidity makes a nice addition in our Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc blend.
The crew first cut the Roussanne vines about a foot from the surface, and then field grafted the Picpoul budwood on to the already planted vine. The graft site was then wrapped with tape for support and sealed with grafting paint to prevent infection and keep the new grafts from drying out. Field grafting like this accelerates the growth of the vine (compared to pulling plants out and replanting) by harnessing the new budwood to the pre-existing root system. We expect to get a crop from these Picpoul vines in two years, instead of the three years it takes a newly planted bench-grafted vine to be strong enough to produce fruit.