Plant breeding can provide sustainable, eco-friendly and inexpensive solutions to problems such as site adaptation or pest control. Grapevine breeding is thus one of the key criteria in tackling the challenges of climate change and in ensuring sustainable, healthy production. Our work focuses on the breeding of new rootstocks and better clones of traditional German varieties. The objective of clonal selection is to preserve the health and performance of the plant material, as well as to discover and develop new types with superior traits. When cross-breeding rootstocks, the aim is to achieve complete Phylloxera resistance in leaves and roots, in combination with horticultural characteristics such as good graft compatibility, good site adaptation and a positive effect on the grapes of the scion variety. In order to investigate these issues, we conduct experiments in virtually all of Germany's wine-producing areas. For its breeding activities, the department has over eleven hectares of land at Geisenheim dedicated to trials and propagation, an experimental wine cellar and laboratory facilities for in vitro propagation, ELISA and molecular biological analysis. The department works closely together with German and international research institutes, vine propagators and winemakers. In recent years we have increasingly concentrated on the preservation and utilization of the genetic diversity of wild species and traditional German grapevine varieties.
Eibinger Weg 1