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Foundation Plant Services News

2020: Red Blotch Testing, Research, and Plans for the Future

Foundation Plant Services (FPS) has been testing grapevines in its foundation vineyards for grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV) since 2013. Red blotch infection rates have remained extremely low in the Classic Foundation Vineyard, ranging from 0% to 0.21% since 2013. None of the 4,270 vines were infected in 2020. Russell Ranch Vineyard (RRV) remained unaffected until 2017 when five of 4,132 vines, only 0.1%, were infected with GRBV. Since then, despite significant efforts to prevent the occurrence of the disease, the infection rate in the vineyard has increased to 0.5% (24 of 4,406) in 2018, 7.1% (339 of 4,761) in 2019, and 18% (788 of 4,367) in 2020.

FPS is working closely with University of California scientists to monitor the foundation vineyards for potential vectors and track the spread of the virus. We have implemented more frequent vineyard inspections, a comprehensive vector control program and the best management strategies to safeguard foundation material. We will test all vines in the foundation vineyards individually on an annual basis and have discontinued distributing material from RRV. Grapevine material planted in the Classic Foundation Vineyard will continue to be available for distribution and is tested for GRBV as dormant canes prior to shipping. In addition, FPS has begun planning for a greenhouse to protect approximately 4,000 of FPS’ most valued Foundation grapevines. FPS continues its commitment to clean plant health by maintaining the highest testing standard for our foundation vineyards and keeping the grape industry updated as new information becomes available.

To see the full press release, click here