GRAD®1 Gewürztraminer

On its track record, this is the finest Gewürztraminer in New Zealand — and GRAD®1 is its only PCR tested and multiple ELISA tested high-health clonal source.

GRAD® 1 Gewürztraminer in brief:

  • A revival of the finest Gewürztraminer genetic line yet introduced to New Zealand!  The GRAD®1 Gewürztraminer is a specially selected and regenerated high health clone derived from a single old remnant vine of D.S.I.R. heat-treated UCD 1 or 2 Gewürztraminer (which was in turn derived from two separate, but genetically identical, 1960s imports from U.C. Davis).
  • This is the classic Gewürztraminer line that first came to fame by being a key component in the 1970s landmark Dennis Irwin Matawhero Gewürztraminers, and which has since gone on to star also in outstanding Gewürztraminers from Stonecroft and Lawsons Dry Hills.
  • GRAD® 1 Gewürztraminer has tested negative for all viruses by P.C.R. test, and has subsequently tested negative by E.L.I.S.A. for GLRaV1, 2, 3, and GVA.
  • This is an early-ripening intensely flavoured clone — far superior to any of the Gm clones now unfortunately in wide use.
  • This exceptional genetic line has a clear track record in New Zealand for producing weighty, concentrated, wines that can last for ten years or more.
  •  Vines grafted with GRAD® 1 Gewürztraminer are available in New Zealand through Stanmore Farm nursery under license from GRAD®.
  • E-mail for orders or inquires:
    Phone: 0800 Stanmore (0800 782 666)
  • Mobile: 027 544 0140
  • For further information about this clone and advice on its suitability and utilisation in your vineyard contact Dr. Gerald Atkinson by e-mail at:
  • A comprehensive non-propagation contract must be signed off as part of your purchase order.
  • Click here to download single A4 page PDF ‘In Brief Fact Sheet’ on the  GRAD®1 Gewürztraminer clone



The story behind the origins of the GRAD®1 clone of Gewürztraminer is both far-reaching and one of the most complex and lengthy pertaining to any vine variety in my extensive collection. I have decided to provide it more or less in full here so that there is at last a thorough historical account on record of what is in fact one of the most important, but nowadays almost completely forgotten, periods of N.Z.’s twentieth century viticultural history. As will be described below, the genetic line from which the GRAD®1 clone of Gewürztraminer derives is very much both in the thick of this history and a key example of its key players projects and their complexities. — But if perusing the following long read is not to your taste, you can ‘cut to the chase’ instead: Click here to download single A4 page PDF ‘In Brief Fact Sheet’ on the  GRAD®1 Gewürztraminer clone.

In March 1963, Alister McKissock, who was then the Research Viticulturist at the Te Kauwhata Viticultural Research Station, placed an order, on import permit 4731, for Gewürztraminer (along with Sylvaner, Pinot noir, ‘Refosco’, and Grenache) with Foundation Plants Material Services at University of California, Davis.
The U.C.D. Foundation Plant Services export card file pictured immediately above shows that Alister McKissock’s early 1963 vine order was supplied to Professor Goheen of the U.C.D. who brought the cuttings with him in April when he flew out to New Zealand for a study visit. The Gewürztraminer in this order came from block A in the Armstrong Vineyard at U.C.D., in row 9, from either or both vine 14 and / or 15.

While the Grenache in this consignment was released from D.S.I.R. quarantine the following April, the other three accessions, including the Gewürztraminer, were not released until mid-February 1965. Almost certainly, this was because they were heat-treated in quarantine. Interestingly, U.C. Davis Foundation Plant Services officer Nancy Sweet has told me that the source vine(s) for the McKissock Gewürztraminer were not “subjected to heat treatment therapy during the [virus] testing process” they were put through in the early 1960s when they were tested before transfer to the new U.C.D. Foundation Vineyard. So at U.C.D. these Gewürztraminer source vines were considered to be of proven high health.

Why then would they have been held back in quarantine in New Zealand for heat-treatment? The reason was, I suggest, that tests for Rupestris Stem Pitting Associated Virus (RSPaV) using Rupestris St. George rootstock and / or LN33 vine-stock indicators, may have frequently given false positive or inconsistent results when imported vines were tested in the early 1960s (at least) in quarantine by D.S.I.R. Plant Diseases Division. The fact that, in general, this virus (or at least its most common strain) is benign, was not known at the time, and neither was the unreliability of Rupestris St. George rootstock as an indicator for it. This was because it could exhibit infection symptoms inconsistently or not at all despite its actually being infected with RSPaV. So while the scions tested by being grafted to it could actually be free of the virus, the expressed symptoms would come from the St. George — despite their having previously been unexpressed in it. Contradictory results vis-a-vis the LN33 indicator would have only further confused this picture, and I suspect therefore that in the early years of N.Z. vine quarantine in the 1960s, an abundance of caution in the face of such questionable virus-indicator testing results led to frequent heat-treating of imports.

The upper of these two de-barked vine pieces shows stem-pitting symptoms associated with Rupestris Stem Pitting Associated Virus (RSPaV); the lower is a non-sympromatic control sample. This stem-pitting phenomenon is part of a wider complex of virus-induced symptoms and vine disease known as ‘Rugose Wood Complex’. Grapevine Virus A and B are intimately involved in this complex also, as is, to a lesser extent, Grapevine Fleck Virus (GVFkV).    ———————–  Picture source: Fiona Constable and Brendan Rodoni, “Rugose Wood – Associated Viruses”, web-published as a PDF by Wine Australia, June 2011 under the following url:

If I’m right about this then, the McKissock April-1963-imported  Gewürztraminer that was released from quarantine in February 1965 was heat-treated by D.S.I.R. Plant Diseases Division in quarantine — and if so, it was thus a New Zealand made clone, and not necessarily genetically identical any more to its U.C.D. source vine stock. Indeed, D.S.I.R. quarantine records show that “4 plants” (with no cuttings derived from them) were supplied when the McKissock Gewürztraminer was released on Monday 15th February 1965 after 21 months in quarantine. This strongly suggests that the ‘4 plants’ were too small and too young to have produced a full season’s shoot growth (and thus to at least supply a cutting from each, or any, plant). Their being grown from heat-treated shoot-tips (about 1 to 1.5 cm long) would explain this, and therefore the 4 released plants would still have been quite small and in need of further hot-house growing on and subsequent hardening-off before they could be field planted. Also, each such plant would actually have been a separate h.t. explant — and thus should have been identified and treated as a distinct, individual and different, new clone (especially given the mutational effects of heat-treatment as it was typically carried out at that time). It is a major lacuna of the D.S.I.R. heat-treatment programme, both in quarantine and in its national foundation stock virus elimination programme, that it instead never clearly publicised this sort of key information to the N.Z. vine industry of the time. Thus in many instances where ex-D.S.I.R. heat-treated material was made publicly available, the Plant Diseases Division codes which did indeed uniquely identify each successfully heat-treated explant (released or not), were not supplied, and neither was information to the effect that a given release was of (typically) not an ‘as-original’ ex-U.C.D. clone but either a single heat-treated version of it made in N.Z. by D.S.I.R., or in some cases a mass selection of such N.Z.-created explants. (The latter applies of course to the McKissock Gewurztraminer in all probability: it was a mass selection of 4 h.t. explants.)

Interestingly the most prominent example of this failure to declare a D.S.I.R. release to be a heat-treated mass selection is Sauvignon blanc TK05196. This widely grown Sauvignon blanc line is in fact a mass selection from 9 or more D.S.I.R. explants made ca. 1971 by heat-treating the old Te Kauwhata Sauvignon blanc imported from France in the late 1920s. It is of course nothing to do with the other ‘mass selection’ Sauvignon blanc in the country: a (non-D.S.I.R. heat-treated) mass-selection from ex-Berrysmith Kumeu trials U.C.D.1 Sauvignon blanc which was grown by the Spence brothers at their Matua Valley vineyard. But in any case, these Sauvignon blanc confusions aside, the evidence regarding the McKissock 1965-released Gewürztraminer is that in all likelihood the 4 plants released were all D.S.I.R. ex-quarantine heat-treated explants: 4 separate N.Z.-created clones therefore; not the original U.C.D. Armstrong Vineyard row9 V14 or 15 which of course was re-named Colmar 456 Gewürztraminer. How genetically and / or phenologically different these 4 explants were is of course now a very moot question….

But the story of U.C.D. Gewürztraminer imports to N.Z. in the 1960s is more curious still. For as it turns out, a couple of months before February 1965 (and perhaps because he was concerned that the McKissock Gewürztraminer might be about to end up being destroyed in quarantine because its heat-treatment would turn out to be unsuccessful), Frank Berrysmith, sent an order to U.C. Davis for, inter alia, Gewürztraminer. This was on import permit 5915, and the vine material so ordered was subsequently dispatched from U.C.D., on 10th March 1965.

The U.C.D. export record card that shows Frank Berrysmith’s 1964-5 order for, inter alia, Gewürztraminer. Note that the shipping date is given in American format: ‘3-10-65’ means March 10th 1965 — which also means the typed date on the written order Frank Berrysmith posted to U.C.D. is entirely erroneous. (It was in all likelihood actually dated 3/12/1964, i.e., 3rd of December 1964 — and certainly not, as the card erroneously states, 12th of March 1965, which is of course 9 days after Berrysmith’s ordered cuttings were dispatched from U.C.D. by parcel post via Pan-American Airlines).

There is however a further, and possibly either alternative or parallel explanation for Berrysmith’s 1965 order for Gewürztraminer: he may have believed U.C.D. were offering a new clone of the variety. This is a real possibility because U.C. Davis did not identify their Gewürztraminer clones by number until 1966 when ‘1A’ was the first listed. It then became ‘UCD1’ in the following year. So when in 1965 Berrysmith saw the current U.C.D. vine catalogue, he would have noted that they were now offering a Gewürztraminer from a source vineyard designation ‘C3V5’, whereas the McKissock material came from either of two vine locations in Block A of the old U.C.D. Armstrong vineyard, from either vines 14 or 15.  As such, ‘C3V5’ could very well have seemed to Berrysmith to be a different, and completely new, clone. Remarkably however, so far as its source vines go it was not, at the genetic level at least.

The key to this remarkable situation is the fact that from at least the 1950s, U.C.D. had held a number of Gewürztraminer vines, initially all in Harold Olmo’s Oakville experimental block, all of which came (some time in the early 1950s) from just one clonal source, viz.: the Colmar research station’s 456 Gewürztraminer. In correspondence with me, U.C.D.’s Nancy Sweet has noted that the number ‘15’ is circled on the export file card for the 1963-imported McKissock Gewürztraminer accession, and she has suggested that this makes it highly likely that it was Armstrong block (row 9) v15 from which the cuttings were taken, though we cannot be utterly certain nonetheless. But in any case, the two Armstrong Gewürztraminer vines were genetically identical: they were made by cutting-cloning one and the same ex-Colmar 456 Gewürztraminer from Professor Harold Olmo’s original Oakville experimental block. Ms Sweet has also explained how material from these vines was then further progressed from the Armstrong Vineyard to the new U.C.D. Foundation Vineyard, as follows:

By 1962, F[oundation] P[lant] S[ervices at U.C. Davis] had separated [the two Gewürztraminer vines at A[rmstrong block] 9 vine 14 and … vine 15 into two separate selections. A9v14 was replanted in another location in the foundation vineyard and given the name Gewürztraminer 02. A9v15 was replanted and given the name Gewürztraminer 01. Neither of these vines was subjected to heat treatment therapy during the testing process [involved as part of this replanting]. Our records reveal that both vines / selections were [nevertheless] the same clone from Alsace … [viz.:] Alsace clone 456….

So, in the end, the Gewürztraminer cuttings sent to New Zealand on the 1963 McKissock permit and those sent on the 1964-5 Berrysmith permit came from Colmar 456 re-clones; they were therefore almost certainly genetically identical.

Upper shoot of GRAD Gewürztraminer clone foundation mothervine at the GRAD R&D nursery.

Where genetic variation becomes are very real possibility however, is of course in quarantine for the McKissock accession, as detailed above. By comparison however, the Berrysmith 1965 import was very probably neither unduly delayed nor heat-treated in quarantine; it is highly likely that what was released by D.S.I.R. was the original as-received ‘U.C.D.2’ clone. The evidence for this is as follows. First, it seems almost certain that the Berrysmith 1965 import was the line of Gewürztraminer planted into his Greenmeadows vine trial at the Mission Vineyard in Hawkes Bay in winter 1967, and for this to have been so, a relatively smooth and non-delayed passage through quarantine between late March 1965 and likely release in mid-1966 would have been more or less required. By comparison, we have seen that it is highly likely that the 4 plants of the McKissock Gewürztraminer released in February 1965 were very small and very young explants — and the chances of any of them being ready for field trial planting in winter 1976 are minimal, I suggest. This is because the McKissock explants would have required probably two years in a hothouse or at least in very sheltered nursery conditions, to grow and harden-off sufficiently for field planting. But they also then had a further problem: there were just four of them, and normally, D.S.I.R. Plant Diseases Division at Avondale in Auckland would hold two replicates of any quarantine-released vine, which in this case would leave just two McKissock Gewürztraminer plants to be distributed between the Te Kauwhata National Foundation Vineyard and the D.S.I.R. Levin Research Station. At this latter site during the 1960s, proven high health vines were held and grown in huge concrete bins containing sterilised soil — to ensure that nematodes could not be present to re-infect this vine stock with viruses. (The fact that insect vectors like mealy bug and soft vine scale could transmit virus infection to and between vines was utterly unknown here at this time; only transmission by grafting to infected vine stock or by root nematode infestation were recognised.) So all in all then, between Avondale, Te Kauwhata, and Levin, even by winter 1967, when Frank Berrysmith’s trial at Mission’s Greenmeadows vineyard was being planted out, it seems highly unlikely that there was sufficient, or sufficiently grown-on, McKissock Gewürztraminer material for any of it to be included at Greenmeadows. Time and growth were not on its side in this case, one would fully expect. By sharp comparison however, 7 rooted plants of Berrysmith’s 1965 U.C.D.2 Gewürztraminer accession, plus 12 cuttings taken from them, were released from quarantine. In turn, to have provided this number of cuttings, the large majority of the rootlings almost certainly could only have been made from the original cuttings supplied by U.C.D., and they in turn would only have been released from quarantine if this as-supplied, original, material was found to be free of detectable virus; otherwise it would have been destroyed in quarantine and only free of detectable virus, successfully heat-treated explants would have been released. And then, immediately, everything is set back around a year at least while the shoot-tips from the original cuttings are heat-treated and then grown on sufficiently to be able to supply buds for green-grafting and / or chip-budding to virus indicator vines in quarantine. That would take things into mid-1967 I suggest — when the Greenmeadows plantings were actually made — and what would have been available from quarantine then, if it tested negative for viruses, would be tiny grown-on shoot tip propagated explants which would be utterly unsuitable for field planting / field trialling. So when carefully examined, the circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that the Gewürztraminer in Berrysmith’s 1967-established Greenmeadows, Hawkes Bay, trial was his 1965-import (U.C.D.2), and that it was available for this because it has an undelayed passage through quarantine and was probably released as early as mid-1965. (The exact release date is, alas, not to hand in my copies of the D.S.I.R. records.)

1st generation plantlets of GRAD Gewurztraminer growing in the GRAD R&D nursery in Christchurch.

The complexities of the story of the origins of the GRAD® Gewürztraminer clone do not finish here however. For ca. 1970, D.S.I.R. heat-treated either the McKissock or the Berrysmith ex-U.C.D. Gewürztraminer as part of its huge late 1960s to mid-1970s project to use thermotherapy to eliminate virus in all vine varieties and their clones held in the National Vine Collection at Te Kauwhata. We know this was successful because in a 1972 Wine Review written article by Mick Knappstein, a list of forthcoming (and in a few cases, already available) ex-D.S.I.R. ‘virus free’ varieties was published, and Gewürztraminer was listed there. This collection of material was released to the industry through Massey University, and orders could be placed for (often rather limited numbers of) cuttings, and sometimes rootlings too, in winter from about 1972 to 1977. For example what was in fact a two-explant group of Pinot noir Bachtobel was distributed in the 1970s from this source. Remarkably however, it was never publicly acknowledged as being poly-clonal; it was just offered as ‘Pinot noir Bachtobel’, even though it was actually a pair of N.Z. heat-treated versions of this Swiss clone. And the Gewürztraminer offered through Massey University would of course have been either a re-heat-treated version of the McKissock 1963 import, or a heat-treated version of the Berrysmith 1965 one. Crucially therefore, whichever of these two Gewürztraminers was the source of the heat-treated Massey line, by the 1970s — when planting of Gewürztraminer increased dramatically (from a miniscule base, of course) in N.Z. — it was overwhelmingly the dominant available germplasm for the variety in this country. This is why, for example, I am very confident that the Matawhero Gewürztraminers with which Dennis Irwin garnered such fame and acclaim in the 1970s, were made with D.S.I.R. heat-treated ex-U.C.D. (1 or 2) material. More specifically, this is to say that it is overwhelmingly likely that what Dennis Irwin made his Matawhero Gewürztraminer wines from throughout the 1970s was not the Colmar 456 line via U.C.D., but one, or perhaps even a mass selection, of the heat-treated derivative clonal lines made from it in N.Z. by D.S.I.R. ca. 1970-71. (Dennis Irwin did import Gewürztraminer U.C.D.4 on import permit 13467 issued ca. 1974, and it was released to him from quarantine on Tuesday 20th April 1976, but it would have taken him into the 1980s to bulk this material up sufficiently to make any commercial quantity of wine from it.) His reputation as a producer of world class Gewürztraminer at Matawhero was thus achieved with the ex-D.S.I.R. heat-treated clonal line, and not (as some commentators mistakenly claim) with the U.C.D.4 clone.

Indeed, it was not just Dennis Irwin who made outstanding wine from the D.S.I.R. heat-treated Gewürztraminer: so too did Lawson’s Dry Hills, although they obtained their original material from this source under a different, proprietary, clonal name in the 1980s; and then later again, Alan Limmer, at Stonecroft, made exceptional Gewürztraminer using this line also, although here again its correct clonal identity and provenance was not, as I understand it, provided to him. Sadly, the Lawson’s Dry Hills vines, which were planted on their own roots, have been decimated by phylloxera, and the Stonecroft original Gewürztraminer vines seem almost certainly to have become Leaf Roll virus infected.

But aside from these celebrated encépagements from the late 1970s through the 1980s and into the 1990s, significant plantings of the D.S.I.R heat treated ex-U.C.D. Gewürztraminer also took place during this period in Gisborne and in Marlborough (especially by Montana Wines), although they overwhelmingly came from a parallel, Auckland, source of the D.S.I.R. heat-treated line, not Massey (which in fact never had large volumes of material to offer the industry). Interestingly, this was run by D.S.I.R. Plant Diseases Division quarantine officer, Wayne Thomas, and over time in the 1970s it included both the below-pictured ‘Penfolds’ vine nursery at Waimauku and (for Montana Wines huge expansion into Gisborne and Marlborough) a large area under glass at Avondale in Auckland.

The ‘Penfolds’ Waimauku nursery in Auckland, (ca. 1970?) which was in fact run by D.S.I.R. quarantine officer Wayne Thomas. This operation and also a large area of glasshouses at Avondale, was used by Mr. Thomas not only to supply huge numbers of vines for pioneering expansion by Montana Wines into Gisborne and Marlborough, but also as a source of vines for the short-lived ‘Penfolds N.Z.’ vineyard and wine operation of the 1970s. By around 1972-3, this planting and / or the Avondale glasshouses, included a goodly amount of D.S.I.R. heat-treated Gewurztraminer. ——- Picture source: Frank Thorpy, Wine in New Zealand (Auckland and London: Collins, 1971), p. 56d.

A few of the D.S.I.R heat treated ex-U.C.D. Gewürztraminer vines also found their way to minor (ungrafted) plantings south of Marlborough, but they have now all faded into neglect and / or oblivion. In the nick of time however, in the 2000s, I recovered and successfully regenerated high health material from one isolated remnant vine planted during this ‘boom’ period in an isolated Canterbury vineyard. Interestingly, the Auckland-sourced D.S.I.R. heat-treated line was also planted even further south in the 1970s — it was supplied by Wayne Thomas, from likely Montana stock, to the Earnscleugh vine trial near Alexandra in Central Otago. But as my own virus testing of this material has shown, these particular vines were unfortunately derived from a GLRaV3-infected mothervine. (Their spread around Central Otago vineyards from the 1980s onward has consequently proved a failure in terms of achieving both the potential and the wine quality of which this genetic line is eminently capable.) Today, approaching 60 years since its original importation and fifty since its D.S.I.R. heat-treatment, precious-few exemplars of this unique D.S.I.R. heat-treated genetic line remain in the country, and very likely none still remain free of virus infection —  except the GRAD 1 Gewürztraminer mothervines in the GRAD collection and their clonally propagated offspring


 Health status

The GRAD 1 Gewürztraminer genetic line was found to be free of detectable virus by PCR when tested at the Waite Institute, Adelaide. Thereafter, its first generation material was sent to Stanmore Farm nursery where it has been bulked up for commercial release under license from GRAD. Subsequent 4-virus ELISA tests on the foundation mothervines have shown them to be free of GLRaV1,2,3, and GVA.

It should, by contrast, be noted that virtually every other old (1970s – 1980s sourced) Gewürztraminer which GRAD has tested from a range of vineyards throughout New Zealand, from Auckland to Central Otago, has ELISA tested positive for GLRaV3, often combined with GVA. In the North Island, most of these infections are of vineyard origin, while in the South Island they all appear to trace back to infected North Island second-generation source-nursery vines. These viruses degrade the ripening and the phenolic characteristics of infected Gewürztraminer, limiting sugar accumulation and bringing bitter short-chain catechinic phenolics forward in wines made from their fruit. Such infected vines are also more subject to poor fruit set, and uneven berry ripeness. Further, where GVA is present as well as GLRaV3, graft union decline and failure is highly likely. The GRAD®1 Gewürztraminer has none of these drawbacks of course, and is almost certainly now the only high health source of this very high quality heat-treated genetic line still extant.

Mature basal leaves of GRAD Gewürztraminer on a mothervine growing in the GRAD R&D nursery in Christchurch.


Typically, GRAD® 1 Gewürztraminer sets moderate crops of small-berried medium-small-bunched very high quality fruit. This clone is early ripening, and can achieve high Brix levels (26+) even in cooler situations in good autumns. Powerful rose petal aromatics and rich palate weight and concentration characterise its wines. GRAD® 1 Gewürztraminer is very resistant to drought and would be well suited to being grown on GRAD®44-53 or GRAD®106-8 rootstocks and in conditions where low soil moisture and / or restricted availability of irrigation water are significant factors. In addition, these two stocks, along with GRAD® 420A, and perhaps also GRAD® 125AA (where wider-spaced plantings and higher crops are demanded), will also enhance this clone’s fertility and fruit-set.


Qualitative potential

As already noted above, in the mid-to-later 1970s and through into the 1990s, there were a number of notable stands of the D.S.I.R. heat-treated line of Gewürztraminer which made highly acclaimed, rich and generous wines. These included Dennis Irwin’s original and much-famed Matawhero Gewürztraminer, as well, later, as Gewürztraminer produced by Stonecroft, Lawson’s Dry Hills, and various others. Over time however, it would appear that virus has infected most of these stands, or otherwise, as in the Matawhereo and Lawson’s cases, phylloxera has led to their collapse and replacement. Nevertheless, on its track record, this is the finest Gewürztraminer genetic line in New Zealand, and GRAD® 1 is its only P.C.R. tested and multiple ELISA tested high-health clonal source.

In a nutshell then: this is a Gewürztraminer clone capable of producing wines of exceptional richness and concentration, frequently emulating the aromatics and intensity of Alsace Grand Cru Gewürztraminer.


Ripening period

GRAD® 1 Gewürztraminer is early ripening, with potential to accumulate high sugar levels for vendage tardive styles in dry autumns.



This clone is currently undergoing bulking up at Stanmore Farm nursery, although grafting budwood may be available from 2021 onward. Inquire to Stanmore Farm Nursery regarding current availability, and for forward orders.

Vines grafted with GRAD® 1 Gewürztraminer are available through Stanmore Farm nursery under license from GRAD®

E-mail for orders or inquires:
Phone: 0800 Stanmore (0800 782 666)  
Mobile: 027 544 0140

Grafting orders may be placed now for supply subject to budwood availability. Quantities available will increase significantly as bulking up of mother vines continues.

Please note that a strict and comprehensive non-propagation contract must be signed off as part of your purchase order.

GRAD® is a New Zealand registered trademark uniquely and exclusively used to identify the vines in the GRAD® vine collection. Use by unauthorised parties to identify any vine material, or other use for commercial gain, is an infringement of this trademark.

Genetic ‘fingerprinting’ and clonal traceability

Vine pirates BEWARE! It is now possible to genetically fingerprint, uniquely identify, and individually detect grapevine clones using the latest-developed molecular genetic sequencing techniques. See the breakthrough research paper by Michael J. Roach et al, “Population Sequencing Reveals Clonal Diversity and Ancestral Inbreeding in the Grapevine Cultivar Chardonnay”, published November 20, 2018 at


Questions about this wine grape? Contact us.

Author: Dr. Gerald Atkinson

Company director, viticulturist, grapevine researcher and historian, and sometime wine-writer.