Rochefort grapes - a masterpiece of amateur selection

Although grapes have been known to mankind for more than one millennium, this culture still remains promising. Thanks to the efforts of enthusiastic breeders, new, more advanced varieties appear annually. Rochefort grapes are one of the most worthy representatives of hybrids, among whose advantages are: increased frost resistance, early ripening and unpretentious care.

History of Rochefort

The variety is interesting in that its authorship belongs to a person who was originally far from viticulture. E.G. Pavlovsky, a miner by profession, began breeding in 1985 under the direction of A.I. Pershikova and D.E. Filimonov, and later began to collaborate with scientists VNIIViV them. ME AND. Potapenko (Russia, Rostov Region), performing hybridization tasks on his own personal plot. Pavlovsky tested over 50 grape varieties on his plot, studied all the methods of green grafting and tried himself in growing industrial lots of seedlings. At the moment, continues to engage in breeding work, and also grows grafted and rare varieties to order.

Rochefort grapes are one of Pavlovsky’s most successful experiments. To create it, the breeder crossed the Talisman variety with a dusted mixture of pollen from European-Amur grape forms with Cardinal grapes. The result is a large-fruited table variety of a very early ripening with excellent taste.

Rochefort - early-ripening grapes with excellent taste

In 2014, Rochefort was included in the State Register of Plants and zoned in all regions of Russia in the cultivation zone. Authorship assigned to L.P. Troshin, I.A. Kostrikin and E.G. Pavlovsky.

Grade description

Rochefort bush is powerful, vigorous, with large slightly pubescent leaves. Shoots can reach a height of 1.35 m, the vine matures almost the entire length. The root system is well developed. Grapes blooms quite late - in mid-June, hermaphrodite flowers (bisexual). Bunches of medium density, branched, conical, weighty, average weight - 520 g, maximum - 1 kg.

The berries are oval, very large - the average weight is 8 g, the maximum is 20 g, the size can reach 23 mm. The variety is not prone to peas, but small grapes are often found in clusters - this is a feature of Rochefort. The color of a ripe bunch is usually red-gray, but can vary from pinkish red to dark purple (depending on climatic conditions and care). The peel of the grapes is quite dense, but at the same time thin and delicate, it is almost not felt when eaten.

Rochefort flowers are bisexual, so you don’t have to worry about pollination

The flesh is fleshy, with a subtle musky flavor. The juice is clear. The seeds are quite large, usually 2-3 in each berry, they are separated from the pulp without difficulty. The variety is well stored and well tolerates transportation.

Rochefort berries are colored before they fully ripen, so even ripe-looking grapes are best left to hang on the bushes for a while - they will be much tastier and sweeter.

Variety Characteristics

Rochefort grapes are zoned throughout Russia, found in Ukraine and Belarus. Although the variety is very young, but he managed to gain popularity due to a number of positive qualities. Rochefort ripens very early, from blossoming buds to full ripening of berries, 105-120 days pass (depending on the region of cultivation). Typically, the crop can be harvested in the first decade of August. Productivity is relatively low - an average of about 4-7 kg per plant, although with good care from each bush you can get up to 10 kg of berries.

With good care from each bush of Rochefort, you can get up to 10 kg of berries

Rochefort has medium frost resistance and is also sensitive to gusts of cold wind, which can cause serious damage to the plant. For winter, it is recommended to shelter the plant.

Resistance to disease in the variety is average: for mildew - 3–3.5 points, for oidium - 2.5–3 points. Wasps and ants are extremely rarely affected, but are very susceptible to phylloxera (grape aphids).

Video: Rochefort grape variety

Landing Features

In order for grapes to please a good harvest, it is necessary to ensure optimal conditions for it.

Choosing a place and soil

Any grape grows best on light, well-aerated and permeable soils. Loam and chernozems on Cretaceous rocks are best suited for planting. Ideally, the soil should contain crushed stone or coarse sand - table grapes growing on this soil, the most delicious. Keep in mind that the roots of the plant can extend to a depth of more than 3 m, so not only the composition of the upper soil layer is important, but also the characteristics of the deep layers.

On too dense and heavy soils, grapes have to sacrifice growing roots in favor of thick skeletal ones - due to this, the suction surface of the roots decreases, and the plant almost does not receive useful elements from the soil. The development of the bush slows down or stops altogether, the berries are smaller, they become much smaller. On loose and light soil, grapes form a powerful root system with a large number of fouling roots, grows quickly and stably bears fruit.

On loose and light soils, grapes form a powerful root system and develops well

Sandy soils and loams are not the most suitable options for growing a crop: in the first case, the plant will need frequent watering and intensive feeding, and in the second it will be very difficult for it to develop. In the lowlands, where meltwater lingers, grapes cannot be planted categorically on wetlands, saline and rocky soils. The depth of groundwater should not exceed 2.5 m.

Since Rochefort is very photophilous, for planting, you should choose the lightest (south or southwest) site, not obscured by trees and buildings, but reliably protected from gusts of cold wind. For normal development, each bush needs an area of ​​5-6 m2.

Landing time

It is possible to plant grapes of this variety both in autumn and spring - the main thing is that the weather be warm outside without the threat of a sharp drop in temperature. However, spring planting is still most preferable - in this case, plants will probably have time to get good roots before winter. Seedlings with a closed root system and green cuttings are advised to plant in late May - early June. Plants with open roots are best planted in the last decade of April - early May. If you decide to plant grapes in the fall, you need to do this in mid-October, and then carefully cover the young bushes.

Planting seedlings

Since the Rochefort variety is extremely susceptible to phylloxera, the first thing to do is to check the soil for the presence of this pest. If grapes are already growing on the plot, you can dig out several superficial roots from the vines in late July - early August and examine them with a magnifier. On small roots affected by grape aphids, small swellings are usually visible, and on thick roots yellow spots can be seen - places where insects accumulate. The roots themselves look sick and rotten, crumble. If there is no grape on the plot, examine the soil taken from a hole about 30 cm deep. And be sure to inspect the roots of seedlings for aphids.

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Whole clusters of pests can be seen on the roots of grapes affected by phylloxera.

If no problems are found, you can proceed to the landing itself:

  1. The landing pit is done ahead of time: during spring planting, it is dug in the fall, and during autumn - in the spring. If you did not have time to prepare in advance, you can do this 1-2 months before planting plants in the ground. A pit is needed large enough - 80x80x80 cm. The bottom is covered with a 10-centimeter layer of drainage from rubble or broken brick. The distance between seedlings should be 2–4 m. At least 1 m depart from the foundation of buildings.
  2. Above the drainage, you need to pour a fertile mixture from the top layer of soil, 4-5 buckets of manure, 0.5 kg of ash and 0.5 kg of nitroammophoska - these fertilizers will be enough for a seedling for the first 4-5 years of life. Then the pit is covered with fertile soil, leaving a depression of 20-30 cm from the ground.
  3. When the soil sags well, place the seedling in the center of the pit, spreading its roots, and fill the hole with earth to the top.
  4. Water the bush abundantly, install a support next to it and mulch the soil with straw and sawdust.
  5. Subsequently, the young plant is watered 1-2 times a week with two buckets of water until completely rooted.

The pit for planting grapes should be roomy - 80x80x80 cm

If planting is done in autumn, the plant must be covered for winter. This is done as follows:

  1. The bush is abundantly watered, waiting for the complete absorption of water, and sticking pegs into the soil next to the plant. In this case, the latter should be several centimeters above the seedling.
  2. Set the shelter on top (plastic eggplants with a cut-off neck are well suited for this role) so that it rests on the peg without touching the seedling.
  3. Sprinkle covered plant with a thick layer of soil (25-30 cm).

Rochefort cuttings are usually harvested in autumn, in mid-October. To make them better rooted, the lower part is cut off on both sides and immersed in water.

For autumn planting, cuttings are recommended to be waxed - for this, their upper ends are immersed for several seconds in molten paraffin at a temperature of 75–85 ° С. To paraffin better stick to the cuttings, you can add bitumen and rosin (30 g per 1 kg) to it. Waxing helps increase the survival rate of Rochefort.

Video: how to plant grapes correctly

Rootstock grafting

The grafting of cuttings is a fairly simple and effective method of propagation of Rochefort. However, note that as a stock you should choose varieties with high resistance to phylloxera - this will minimize the likelihood of infection.

Preparing a stock is easy:

  1. Radical pruning of the old bush is carried out, leaving a stump 10 cm high.
  2. The rootstock surface is thoroughly cleaned and dirt is removed.
  3. In the middle of the stump, a split is made and a prepared stalk is placed in it.
  4. The stock is tightly tightened with a cloth or rope, and then coated with wet clay.
  5. A support is installed near the grafted plant, after which the earth is mulched with straw, sawdust or other mulching material.

Video: grape grafting

How to care for Rochefort grapes

Hybrid Rochefort is very much appreciated by beginner gardeners for their unpretentiousness - even if not carefully maintained, this grape can produce a very good harvest. But in order for the plant to develop well and annually please with a large number of large berries, it is better not to neglect the basic agricultural rules:

  1. The Rochefort variety is hygrophilous, and needs at least three waterings per season - at the beginning of the growing season, before flowering, and during the formation of berries. It is best to carry out watering in the evening, after the sun sets, the water is left standing and slightly warmed up in the sun. Freshly planted grapes are watered in a hole: 30 cm are retreated from the sapling sapling and the topsoil up to 25 cm deep is removed in a circle. The hole is poured with water and wait until the moisture is completely absorbed, after which they return the excavated soil to its place. Each bush will need from 5 to 15 liters of water (depending on soil characteristics). Adult plants are watered at the rate of 50 liters per 1 m2. Additional watering is carried out during periods of drought. During flowering and ripening of fruits, grapes cannot be watered: in the first case, moistening will lead to partial shedding of flowers, and in the second - to cracking of grapes. After each watering, the soil near the plants is mulched with a layer of moss or sawdust (3-4 cm).
  2. For good development, grapes require support, so it must be tied to a trellis. It is constructed as follows: 2 stable iron pegs up to 2.5 m high are instilled at the edges of the site, and 3-5 rows of wire are pulled between them. The first row should be located at a height of 50 cm from the ground, the second - 35–40 cm from the first and so on. To prevent the wire from sagging, every few meters additional pegs are stuck into the ground. It is advisable to arrange the trellis from south to north so that the grapes are evenly lit by the sun during the day.

    In order for the grape to fully develop and not lack sunlight, it is tied to a trellis

  3. If during planting you put all the necessary fertilizers into the pit, additional feeding will not be needed for the next 4–5 years. And in the future, grapes will need to be fertilized annually. In the spring, before opening the bushes after wintering, 20 g of superphosphate, 10 g of ammonium nitrate and 5 g of potassium salt are dissolved in a bucket of water, and this mixture is applied under each plant. Shortly before ripening, the plants are fertilized with superphosphate and potassium, and after harvesting, only potash fertilizers are added. Once every three years, the vineyard is fertilized with a mixture of manure, ash, ammonium sulfate and superphosphate - fertilizing is done in the fall, evenly distributing them over the surface of the soil, after which they are embedded in the soil by deep digging.
  4. In order to protect the grapes from various diseases, several preventive treatments are carried out several times a season:
    1. In the stage of kidney swelling, the plants are sprayed with iron sulfate, colloidal sulfur or soda solution to protect them from red grape mites and oidium. The same treatment is repeated during the development of inflorescences.
    2. Before flowering and during it, systemic fungicides are used (Horus, Falcon) - this will protect the grapes from the appearance of fungi.
    3. At the beginning of filling, the bushes are treated with systemic fungicides, and when the clusters are closed, they are treated with anti-gray rot preparations.
  5. The most serious problem of the Rochefort variety is grape aphid - phylloxera. This pest is capable of destroying the entire vineyard as soon as possible, therefore it is worthwhile to approach preventative measures with all responsibility. To prevent phylloxera infection, use varieties resistant to the disease as a stock for Rochefort. Many gardeners recommend adding sand to the pit during planting or planting grapes on sandy soil - of course, it will need to be watered and fed more often, but this measure will minimize the likelihood of phylloxera. It is also advised to plant parsley in the aisles of the vineyard and along its perimeter - the aphid does not tolerate this plant and does not live next door to it. At the first sign of phylloxera, grapes are treated with Dichloroethane, Actellic, Fozalon or other similar preparations. The treatments are carried out in several stages: the first of them is carried out at the stage of bud blooming, before the second leaf appears, the second at the 10–12 leaf stage, and the third — at the appearance of 18–20 leaf. An even more radical method of struggle is the flooding of the vineyard. Plants are poured with large amounts of water and maintain its level for 30–40 days, periodically adding pesticides and drugs to combat the Colorado potato beetle. If none of the above measures helped, and the pest continues to spread, all affected bushes should be excavated and destroyed. It will be possible to re-plant grapes on this site no earlier than in 10 years, and then only if the test for phylloxera gives a negative result.

    If you find signs of phylloxera damage on the leaves, you need to immediately treat them with appropriate drugs.

  6. To stimulate shoot formation and fruiting, annual pruning is performed for 6-8 eyes. Cut grapes should be in the fall, before wintering, so that the plant’s wounds are easier to heal and it was easier to cover for the winter. In spring, pruning should not be done - if you cut the vine at the beginning of sap flow, it is likely that you will not only reduce the yield, but also completely destroy the plant. The only exceptions are young, not yet fruit-bearing grapes, and seedlings planted in the fall - they can be carefully pruned at the beginning of March, when the street temperature rises above 5 ° C. Sick and dry vines can be removed at any time of the year except winter. When forming a bush, pay attention to the following factors:
    1. With a standard feeding area, the load of shoots on each bush cannot exceed 24.
    2. The load on the bush should be no more than 35 eyes.
  7. In mid-September, it is necessary to carry out water-loading irrigation, introducing 20 buckets of water under each bush - this way the plants are prepared for wintering.
  8. In regions with a cold climate, Rochefort is sure to be sheltered for the winter. To do this, grapes are removed from the trellis and laid on the ground, covered with fir spruce branches, spanbond or other covering material from above and sprinkled with earth. The soil is taken away from the shelter so as not to disturb the root system of the plant.

Video: grape farming

Gardeners reviews

In our specific conditions, there is no trace of nutmeg in Rochefort (even after a long hanging on the bushes), plus there is a strong peeling of berries (as in the Cardinal) in each cluster annually. Ripening period is really early, somewhere around August 10, but if you wish, you can pinch earlier, the taste is grassy and the pulp is dense. It is painted before it ripens.


For all these years, I have never regretted that I have this grape. Maybe because I like the “cardinal taste” of its berries ... The crop is always stable from the bushes and without peas, which many other growers complain about. It’s just that he doesn’t ripen for me for the declared 95 days, but somewhere for 105–110 days under normal load. Bunches easily gain weight in 1 kg and more. I had to observe at farmers' plots, where the Rochefort GF was grafted on a Kober stock 5BB grapes and 3-4 kg. Berries, depending on the care and age of the bushes, can be up to 20 g with dense pulp and a slight smack of nutmeg. The grapes themselves are transportable and have a good presentation. Resistance to disease at the level of 3 points. I want to note one more positive feature of this grape: the buds are opened later than all, which positively affects the yield during return frosts.

Fursa Irina Ivanovna

The variety is super, the strength of growth is good, disease resistance is higher than stated. The berry is dense, very large, crunchy with a light nutmeg! The berry on the bush lasts 2 months. When he took the vine from Pavlovsky E., he said: "This variety must be planted in hectares." At the moment I have planted 15 bushes.

R Pasha

I have Rochefort wasps and sparrows do not touch. Very good quality for grapes. And the yield is good.

Alexander Kovtunov

Rochefort grapes are becoming an increasingly popular variety due to many positive qualities. It does not need special care, easily takes root on almost any soil and stably produces delicious berries. .


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