In the context of viticulture, a clone is defined as ‘genetically uniform material derived from a single (mother) individual and propagated exclusively by vegetative means such as cuttings, divisions or grafts’ (Hartmann & Kester 1975).
Clonal selection involves the comparison, selection, and propagation of one or more clones of a variety possessing particular characteristics. These characteristics tend to include vigour, growth habit, yield, bunch compaction, berry size and wine quality.
It is important for producers to understand both the characteristics and availability of clones when making decisions on new plantings or reworking of existing vineyards. To assist producers in this decision-making process the department has published the ‘A review of five wine grape variety clones in Western Australia’ booklet, which lists the available clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz and Tempranillo within WA.
In June 2018 the department facilitated a forum on wine grape clones, where key viticultural and wine quality performance aspects of 92 separate clones were presented. This information was derived from a literature review of international and Australian published material.
Both the booklet and presentation are available to download at the top right-hand side of this page.
Funding for this work was provided by Wine Australia through the Regional Program initiative.
For further information contact Richard Fennessy, +61 8 9780 6219.
Hartmann, HT & Kester, DE 1975, Plant Propagation Principles and Practices, 3rd edn, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.