1- What is a vine rootstock? Grape patterns.

The  vine rootstock, pattern or foot , is the part on which the variety or cultivar is grafted. They are used because they are  resistant to phylloxera  and are better adapted to soil conditions.

All vine rootstocks are resistant to phylloxera , but each one has  particular characteristics , such as resistance to limestone, salinity, drought, vigor… .which end up transmitting to the variety that is grafted on them.

If the soil is good, and it does not have salinity or limestone problems, all rootstocks will work well.

What is important is, in soils with possible problems, to select the right rootstock well.

After the phylloxera attack, which left the old European continent practically without vines, the vine standards began to be used.

Today, we know much more about them and we use their characteristics according to our production goals in today’s viticulture.

2- What are the most commonly used types of vine rootstocks?

Among the most prominent and commercial vine rootstock: R-110, RU-140, 161-49, 41-B, P-1103, SO4 … there are many more, but these are the most used.

The following table is a small guide for choosing the most suitable rootstock for our conditions:

3- Main Characteristics of the most used vine graft holders:

Each vine pattern has a characteristic  and that is why they are generally used, so SO4 is very resistant to excess moisture in the soil, 41-B and RU-140 are very resistant to active limestone, R- 110 withstands drought very well, P-1103 is characteristic for being the only one that supports excess salinity in the soil… .. some are more vigorous, others less, some advance ripening, others delay it…. Some are more resistant to nematodes … the main types of rootstock are described below :


The 110 is the pattern or rootstock that, due to its versatility and ease of adaptation to most soils and its good affinity with almost all varieties, is the most widely used rootstock.

If it is the most used it will be for something. We describe the main features below.

  • It is the most widely used graft port  in Spain  and the second in France.
  • Richter 110 has a high resistance to  drought  and low to excess moisture in the soil.
  • It is very resistant to   soil nematodes .
  • Supports around 14-17%  active limestone.
  • It is vigorous, with a long vegetative cycle, which  delays maturation  and has an intermediate root system.

Learn more about the Richter 110.

1103 Paulsen

It is being used a lot in Spain for replacing plants in already established vineyards and in bad soils.

  • Paulsen 1103 supports up to 17%  active lime in soil .
  • It has a high resistance to  drought  and a medium resistance to excess moisture in the soil.
  • It is very resistant to  Nematodes.
  • It has a  very high vigor  .
  • Its vegetative cycle is long and it  delays maturation .
  • Its root system is intermediate.
  • It is suitable for  replacing plants.

Read more about Paulsen 1103.


140 is the pattern that is supplanting 41-B and 161-49, due to its greater resistance to limestone and due to its vigor, it is being used a lot in plantations in Castilla La Mancha.

  • It is one of the vine rootstock that is most resistant to  active limestone in the soil , reaching up to 40%.
  • Its resistance to  drought  is high and to excess moisture in low soil.
  • Very resistant to  nematodes  in soil.
  • It is  very vigorous.
  • Its vegetative cycle is long and it delays maturation.
  • Its root system is intermediate.
  • It is also used in replanting or yams in already established vineyards.

Get to know the 140-Ruggeri better.


It is a rootstock that is widely used in the north of Spain and from the Pyrenees upwards. Very widespread in France.

  • It is the most widely used graft holder  in France.
  • SO4 resists up to 15% of active limestone in the soil.
  • Its  resistance to drought is low , but on the contrary, it withstands excess moisture in soils very well.
  • It is very resistant to Nematodes.
  • It is of  medium vigor.
  • Its vegetative cycle is short, so it  advances the ripening  of the grape.
  • Its root system is creeping.

Read more about the SO4 rootstock


Used a lot in limestone soils and virgin lands in Castilla La Mancha, due to its resistance to lime and its regularity in production, it is being gradually supplanted by RU-140, which has greater vigor.

  • It is a rootstock of the most resistant to  limestone in soil, reaching 40% support.
  • Its resistance to  drought is medium  and to excess humidity is low.
  • It is sensitive to soil nematodes.
  • It is of  medium vigor.
  • The vegetative cycle is very short, so it  advances the maturation  of the vine varieties that are grafted onto it.
  • The root system it has is creeping.

Learn more about 41B.

4- What rootstock should I use? How to choose the best vine rootstock?

The type of rootstock that we are going to use will be defined by the soil we have.

For a correct planting of the vineyard, a soil analysis must be carried out  , which will provide us with very valuable information on the characteristics of our soil, the texture, the type of existing nutrients, active lime, the existence of possible nematodes …

Normally, one tasting per hectare is usually taken at a depth of about forty centimeters , if the terrain is homogeneous, and, if not, we should take one tasting for each type of soil that we observe uneven.

With the results of the soil analysis we will be able to know the texture of our soil and existing nutrients, as well as the calcareous degree, the organic matter …

In the vineyard plantation, the most limiting factor in the soil is the amount of lime, and then the salinity. These two values ​​are the most limiting in the choice of rootstock.

On dry and very chlorotic soil, for example, the choice of rootstock is very restricted.

Next, if we know the nutrients, the amount of organic matter, the variety of vine that we are going to plant and the planting framework, we can find the desired rootstock, always looking for the balance: soil-plant-climate.

Another factor to take into account is the vigor of the rootstock . In very fertile soils, if we select a very vigorous rootstock over an equally vigorous variety, we can have problems due to excess vigor .

The vegetative cycle and the influence of the rootstock on the earliness ofsprouting and ripening of the grapeis also very important.

Finally, it is very useful to know these wine production objectives in terms of quality and quantity when choosing the rootstock with weak, medium or strong vigor.

If we are clear about the production objectives , the quality of our soil and the variety that we are going to graft… choosing the rootstock will be relatively easy.

In Spain, the most widely used graft carriers are R-110, RU-140, 41-B, P-1103, 161-49 and SO4.

The following video explains very well all the characteristics and all the things to take into account when choosing a rootstock. Although it speaks a lot about the rootstocks most used in America, it is useful as a reference for the choice of rootstocks in Spain.

Dr. Sofia Seccombe

My name is Dr. Sofia Seccombe, and in this small section, I want to tell you who I am and why I started this project. I don't want to bore you, but I consider that it is an important part of godlywine. It serves as an exercise in transparency so that the person who reads the articles can be sure that the information is reliable.

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