A huge Cabernet trial is underway in California, encompassing 100 clone/rootstock combinations and covering 3.5 acres. Researchers designed it to help identify genetic variations that impart a greater resilience to climate change — notably, improved drought tolerance that will enable more effective and sustainable water-use practices while also producing high-quality fruit and wine.
“I’ve heard it called the ‘mother of all Cabernet trials’ and it has earned the title for a reason,” said Clint Nelson, director of vineyard operations at Beckstoffer Vineyards — Red Hills, which hosts the University of California, Davis-led trial at its Amber Knolls ranch in Lake County. “I believe this is the largest and most replicated project of its kind. To put it in perspective, a typical research project will have anywhere from 200 to 300 data vines for collection. This project will have 3,600 data vines and data points.”