Sapling production

New vineyards covering 50,000 hectares are envisaged to be established in the Republic connected with the "State Program on Development of Viticulture in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2012-2020". On average, 111 million 100,000 grape saplings are required for planting of new vineyards depending of the planting scheme in regard with the establishment of the planned new vineyards associated with the "State Program". New vineyards should be established from phylloxera-resistant grafting saplings clean in terms of biological and phytosanitary features. Establishment of the grafting-sapling production complex and provision of high quality and productive phylloxera-resistant saplings is important for provision of the new vine-growing farms with grafting-sapling saw material consisting of valuable local and introduced grape varieties.

Extension of sowing areas with phylloxera-resistant varieties is very important and difficult problem for the viticulture of the Republic. Infection of the grapevines with this pest in the main grape-growing areas can lead to a sharp decline in productivity, deterioration of the quality of the product, and the destruction of vineyards. A way out of such situation is to start produce sowing materials inoculated with phylloxera-resistant American grapevines. This is one of the urgent measures for the development of viticulture in the Republic. For this purpose, grafting (inoculation) workshop producing 1-2 million grafting-sowing material per year should be established by setting up vineyards from phylloxera-resistant rootstocks and localized scion grape varieties in the Experimental Farms of the Scientific-Research Institute of Viticulture and Wine-making. It should be noted that in accordance with the item 1 of the Article 6 of Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on “Viticulture and Wine-making”, rootstock and scion sowing materials resistant to diseases and pests shall be produced in relevant scientific research institutes or specialized sapling farms under the control of scientific research institutes in line with the the contract terms. These issues have been defined as priority issues in the following items of the Action Plan of "The State Program on the development of viticulture in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2012-2020" approved by the Decree date of 15 December 2011, No. 1890: Preparation of proposals to stimulate the use of high productive, phylloxera-resistant and localized saplings of grape varieties” (Item 2.4.5.) and “Support for development of the existing grape sapling enterprises and establishment of the new such specialized farms and workshops producing inoculated grape saplings” (Item 2.4.6.).

Phylloxera pest is one of the most hazardous pests for grape plant. All vineyards can be destroyed in any vine country facing with the strong developing and spreading phylloxera. From the early years of the spread of phylloxera, a number of measures have been developed against it such as quarantine, radical, chemical, cultivation of grapevines in sandy soils etc. None of the aforementioned long-term struggle methods against phylloxera could solve this problem. Therefore, it was proposed to use American grapevines as rootstocks. Because American rootstock sorts are tolerant to the phylloxera (root form of phylloxera). European-Asian, including Azerbaijan grape varieties growing on their own root are very intolerant to phylloxera. All regions of Azerbaijan (excluding Absheron region) are considered as zones exposed to phylloxera and it is dangerous to plant vineyards from these saplings growing on their own roots. Phylloxera was registered in 1925 in Gazakh region of Azerbaijan, then it was observed in Aghstafa, Shamkir, Ganja, Khanlar regions. After a while, the phylloxera was spread to lowland, foothills and mountainous regions of the republic.

The method of establishment of vineyards with inoculated grape sapling was preferred in the Republic of Azerbaijan as the only method of struggle against the phylloxera pest. Sapling farms were established in Aghstafa and Khanlar districts in 1958. Sowing materials from Bulgaria and Yugoslavia were brought to western and other regions of the Republic in 1970-1979 due to the extreme spread of phylloxera. However, the sowing material was not clean, and brought some illnesses and pests as well. As a result, mixed varieties were planted in the new vineyards and low-quality and low productive varieties were planted. A state farm union involved in the production of grape sapling has been established in order to eliminate these deficiencies and meet the demand for grapes. During that period, the sapling complexes with the production capacity of 5 million inoculated saplings were constructed in Gazakh, Aghstafa, Tovuz and Agdara regions. Addition to the vineyards, vineyard farms were destroyed as a result of violation of ownership issues and implementation of agrarian reforms in the country. Currently, there is no farm that produces inoculated grape saplings.

Currently, there are large companies and enterprises dealing with the production and export of phylloxera-resistant inoculation-saw materials in a number of countries (Germany, France, Italy, Serbia, etc.) of the world. Some of the vineyards are established with grape saplings grown on their own roots, and some are planted with a sowing material brought from European countries. Most grape varieties introduced into the country are planted without testing and checking which can lead to viral diseases and degradation of local grape genofond. Therefore, the construction of sapling farms producing grape grafting-sowing material of local grape varieties is one of the important issues for the production of new vineyards. To this end, opportunities of modern laboratories of the Scientific-Research Institute of Viticulture and Wine-making can be used. Introduction of sapling from foreign countries is very expensive for entrepreneurs and causes flow of national currency abroad. The introduction of annual sapling from foreign countries to the republic results with the suppression of local varieties. On the other hand, the foreign sowing material, which is often the carrier of virus diseases, endangers local varieties of these diseases. Expanding the production of valuable grape varieties suitable for the soil-climatic conditions of the Republic can result with the reduce of the grape imports from abroad, the protection of local grape varieties, and regulating the problem of biological and phytosanitary cleanliness of varieties. In order to solve the problem, establishment of the grafting workshops and sapling farms equipped with modern equipments is one of the urgent measures.

Sapling area of the Scientific-Research Institute of Viticulture and Wine-making

Collection garden of the Scientific-Research Institute of Viticulture and Wine-making

Researches in this direction have always been a priority for the Institute as this issue is of great importance for our country. Priority issues include: Conservation of the grape genofond, as well as protection from quarantine diseases, Reduce relevant expenses by production of saplings consisting of grape varieties suitable for the natural-economic regions of the country and provision of need for sapling through local production; prevention of the flow of national currency to foreign countries etc. Selection and identification of certain components in specific environments should only be carried out by direct experiments under laboratory and field conditions. In this regard, the best combinations should be identified and scientific recommendations should be prepared taking into account affinity of rootstock and scion, as well as biological properties and natural conditions of grafting components connected with the establishment of high productive vineyards in each vine-growing region of our Republic.

As a result of researches conducted by the scientists of Scientific-Research Institute of Viticulture and Wine-making for the research of various rootstocks, six American phylloxera-resistant rootstock have been selected for producing rootstock suitable for soil-climatic conditions of Azerbaijan. These varieties are:

  1. Berlandieri x Riparia Kober 5 BB
  2. Berlandieri x Riparia CO – 4
  3. Berlandieri x Riparia Dragochan – 37
  4. Berlandieri x Riparia Telekri 5 C
  5. Berlandieri x Riparia Kreçunel – 2
  6. Berlandieri x Riparia Rixter – 57

However, suitability of the mentioned American rootstocks with various sorts differs depending on the sort, soil-climate condition of the region, rootstock, inoculation process and other factors. Therefore, the following research areas are prioritized:

  • Determination of a combination and compatibility potential of the regionalized local and introduced table and technical grape varieties and phylloxera-resistant long-term rootstocks;
  • Determination of American rootstocks for each region and for each variety;
  • Introduction and evaluation of the new phylloxera-resistant rootstocks;
  • Provision of the production of phylloxera-resistant inoculated sow material consisting of local varieties for the conservation and reproduction of local grape varieties.
  • Establishment of grape vineyard consisting of defined phylloxera-resistant American varieties for production of high quality rootstock sow material;
  • Establishment of the scion vineyard to preserve and increase the precious grape varieties of Azerbaijan and produce high quality sowing material.
  • There is a lack of qualified specialists for implementation, dissemination and application of innovative technology developed within many years for production of phylloxera-resistant inoculated grapes in scientific research institutions.
  • Promotion and stimulation of the use of inoculated grape saplings consisting of local grape varieties among producers;
  • Propose to farmers once a year to establish new vineyards by producing high productive inoculated grape saplings consisting of phylloxera-resistant local grape varieties.
  • Establishment of the demonstration gardens from high productive inoculated grape saplings and newly produced phylloxera-resistant local grape varieties.
  • Create a website on manufactured products, publish and distribute advisory manuals, brochures and booklets for awareness of the manufacturers.

Every year inoculated sowing material (about 10,000) or 200,000 grape sowing material growing on their own root consisting of regionalized and perspective grape (local and external) varieties are cultivated in the Experimental Farms of the Scientific-Research Institute of Viticulture and Wine-making and recommended to farms.

Nevertheless, it is important to establish modern inoculation workshops and vineyards (rootstock and scion) under the Scientific-Research Institute of Viticulture and Wine-making in order to meet the need for high quality and phylloxera-resistant inoculated grape saplings in the Republic.

The list of grape saplings intended for production in 2017 in the farms of the Scientific-Research Institute of Viticulture and Wine-making

  1. Agh shani
  2. Gara shani
  3. Tabrizi
  4. Novrast
  5. Madrasa
  6. Bayanshire
  7. Khindogni
  8. Agh kishmish
  9. Chahrayi kishmish
  10. Rkasiteli
  11. Moldova
  12. Mahmudu
  13. Italy (Muscat)
  14. Marandi
  15. Ilhami
  16. Shamakhi's hediyye
  17. Aghadayi
  18. Gara kishmish
  19. Azeri
  20. Goy-gol
  21. Bahrali
  22. Shirali
  23. Kapaz
  24. Ganjavi
  25. Emin
  26. Hamashari
  27. Girmizi kishmish
  28. Sentenial
  29. Attika
  30. Sultanina
  31. Prima
  32. Red qlob
  33. Izabella
  34. American rootstock