Friday, May 29, 2009


After cutting-up the rootstock and removing all the nodes we move the boxes of finished rootstock into the store for counting and quality checks. Each box has a name on it so if we encounter any problems we can go straight to the source and correct it. The industry standard is a 100 cuttings in a bundle, so what you are seeing in this picture is the employees counting and packing the rootstock into small boxes ready for bundling.

The Ultimate Hygiene Plan

These 3 pictures all have one thing in common, hygiene, sanitation and disinfection. As it would be we are quite pedantic about our hygiene and that has been carried over into the business with great success.
In the 1st picture the floor area where all the cutting-up takes place, is being washed with a special product specifically designed for the vine industry. In the 2nd and 3rd pictures you can see the employees equipment being dipped in a disinfectant, this is done every morning.
By following these simple practises we prevent the spreading of diseases and unwanted pathogens.

A load of rootstock

Another quality load from our rootstock supplier. The bundles in this picture are US8-7 and were placed on the other side of the truck in the shade. The rootstock is irrigated at regular intervals to prevent drying out.

Next we touch on ultimate hygiene...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Removal of Rootstock nodes

This phase, the removal of rootstock nodes is a follow on from the cutting up. On a rootstock cutting you can get anything from 2 to 3 nodes and sometimes 4. The general practise is to remove all the nodes, but some nurserymen like to leave the bottom node. Our philosophy is that the rootstock is for rooting, therefore we remove all the nodes so the root doesn't use its reserves where it isn't needed. Ok so we've received the rootstock in bundle form, then cut it up according to spec and finally removed all the nodes.

What next???........Stay posted and find out!

Cutting up of 'foundation block' rootstock

20 May 2009 Mischa Vines received its first batch of rootstock from its foundation block, namely US 8-7. We receive the rootstock in bundle form and then cut the rootstock up according to the standards set out by the Vine Improvement Association (VIA). For optimum quality it's important that the shoots are mature over the entire length and are free of damage. The physical requirements for certified shoots are a minimum internode diameter of 6,5mm, but no less than 70% of graft shoots are not allowed to be less than 7mm in diameter. The maximum internode diameter is 12mm.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mischa Vine Harvest 2009

25 May 2009, Mischa nursery has officially begun harvesting vines. In this picture we are harvesting a combination called Autumn Royal on a rootstock called Ramsey. Autumn Royal is a very delicious table grape variety that can be bought at Woolworths in S.A., go give it a try.

From an initial glance the vines look strong and healthy. Visually they are well above the physical requirements set out by the VIA and the take seems higher than expected, which is great! Following this process will be the grading of the vines where I will give more detail about the requirements for a certified vine. Stay posted.....