Soil is a mixture of organic matter, gases and organisms that together support life. Earth's body of soil, called the pedosphere, has four important functions: as a medium for plant growth as a means of water storage and purification as a modifier of Earth's atmosphere as a habitat for organismsAll of these functions, in their turn, modify the soil; the pedosphere interfaces with the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, the biosphere. The term pedolith, used to refer to the soil, translates to ground stone in the sense "fundamental stone". Soil consists of a solid phase of minerals and organic matter, as well as a porous phase that holds gases and water. Accordingly, soil scientists can envisage soils as a three-state system of solids and gases. Soil is a product of several factors: the influence of climate, relief and the soil's parent materials interacting over time, it continually undergoes development by way of numerous physical and biological processes, which include weathering with associated erosion.
Given its complexity and strong internal connectedness, soil ecologists regard soil as an ecosystem. Most soils have a dry bulk density between 1.1 and 1.6 g/cm3, while the soil particle density is much higher, in the range of 2.6 to 2.7 g/cm3. Little of the soil of planet Earth is older than the Pleistocene and none is older than the Cenozoic, although fossilized soils are preserved from as far back as the Archean. Soil science has two basic branches of study: pedology. Edaphology studies the influence of soils on living things. Pedology focuses on the formation and classification of soils in their natural environment. In engineering terms, soil is included in the broader concept of regolith, which includes other loose material that lies above the bedrock, as can be found on the Moon and on other celestial objects as well. Soil is commonly referred to as earth or dirt. Soil is a major component of the Earth's ecosystem; the world's ecosystems are impacted in far-reaching ways by the processes carried out in the soil, from ozone depletion and global warming to rainforest destruction and water pollution.
With respect to Earth's carbon cycle, soil is an important carbon reservoir, it is one of the most reactive to human disturbance and climate change. As the planet warms, it has been predicted that soils will add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere due to increased biological activity at higher temperatures, a positive feedback; this prediction has, been questioned on consideration of more recent knowledge on soil carbon turnover. Soil acts as an engineering medium, a habitat for soil organisms, a recycling system for nutrients and organic wastes, a regulator of water quality, a modifier of atmospheric composition, a medium for plant growth, making it a critically important provider of ecosystem services. Since soil has a tremendous range of available niches and habitats, it contains most of the Earth's genetic diversity. A gram of soil can contain billions of organisms, belonging to thousands of species microbial and in the main still unexplored. Soil has a mean prokaryotic density of 108 organisms per gram, whereas the ocean has no more than 107 procaryotic organisms per milliliter of seawater.
Organic carbon held in soil is returned to the atmosphere through the process of respiration carried out by heterotrophic organisms, but a substantial part is retained in the soil in the form of soil organic matter. Since plant roots need oxygen, ventilation is an important characteristic of soil; this ventilation can be accomplished via networks of interconnected soil pores, which absorb and hold rainwater making it available for uptake by plants. Since plants require a nearly continuous supply of water, but most regions receive sporadic rainfall, the water-holding capacity of soils is vital for plant survival. Soils can remove impurities, kill disease agents, degrade contaminants, this latter property being called natural attenuation. Soils maintain a net absorption of oxygen and methane and undergo a net release of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Soils offer plants physical support, water, temperature moderation and protection from toxins. Soils provide available nutrients to plants and animals by converting dead organic matter into various nutrient forms.
A typical soil is about 50% solids, 50% voids of which half is occupied by water and half by gas. The percent soil mineral and organic content can be treated as a constant, while the percent soil water and gas content is considered variable whereby a rise in one is balanced by a reduction in the other; the pore space allows for the infiltration and movement of air and water, both of which are critical for life existing in soil. Compaction, a common problem with soils, reduces this space, preventing air and water from reaching plant roots and soil organisms. Given sufficient time, an undifferentiated soil will evolve a soil profile which consists of two or more layers, referred to as soil horizons, that differ in one or more properties such as in their texture, density, consistency, temperature and reactivity; the horizons differ in thickness and gene
Propagation of grapevines
The propagation of grapevines is an important consideration in commercial viticulture and winemaking. Grapevines, most of which belong to the Vitis vinifera family, produce one crop of fruit each growing season with a limited life span for individual vines. While some centenarian old vine examples of grape varieties exist, most grapevines are between the ages of 10 and 30 years; as vineyard owners seek to replant their vines, a number of techniques are available which may include planting a new cutting, selected by either clonal or mass selection. Vines can be propagated by grafting a new plant vine upon existing rootstock or by layering one of the canes of an existing vine into the ground next to the vine and severing the connection when the new vine develops its own root system. In commercial viticulture, grapevines are propagated from seedlings as each seed contains unique genetic information from its two parent varieties and would, theoretically, be a different variety than either parent.
This would be true if two hermaphroditic vine varieties, such as Chardonnay, cross pollinated each other. While the grape clusters that would arise from the pollination would be considered Chardonnay any vines that sprang from one of the seeds of the grape berries would be considered a distinct variety other than Chardonnay, it is for this reason that grapevines are propagated from cuttings while grape breeders will utilize seedlings to come up with new grape varieties including crossings that include parents of two varieties within the same species or hybrid grape varieties which include parents from two different Vitis species such as the Armagnac grape Baco blanc, propagated from the vinifera grape Folle blanche and the Vitis labrusca variety Noah. In viticulture, a clone is single vine, selected from a "mother vine" to which it is identical; this clone may have been selected deliberately from a grapevine that has demonstrated desirable traits and propagated as cuttings from that mother vine.
Varieties such as Sangiovese and Pinot noir are well known to have a variety of clones. While there may be slight mutations to differentiate the various clones, all clones are considered genetically part of the same variety. A selection massale is the opposite of cloning, where growers select cuttings from the mass of the vineyard, or a field blend. A color mutation is a grape variety that while genetically similar to the original variety is considered unique enough to merit being considered its own variety. Both Pinot gris and Pinot blanc are color mutations of Pinot noir. A crossing is a new grape variety, created by the cross pollination of two different varieties of the same species. Syrah is a crossing of two French Vitis vinifera species, Dureza from the Ardèche and Mondeuse blanche from Savoie. Theoretically, every seedling if its pollinated by a member of the same grape variety, is a crossing as any vine that results from the seed being planted will be a different grape variety distinct from either parent.
A hybrid is a new grape variety, produced from a cross pollination of two different grape species. In the early history of American winemaking, grape growers would cross the European Vitis vinifera vines with American vine varieties such as Vitis labrusca to create French-American hybrids that were more resistant to American grape diseases such as downy and powdery mildew as well as phylloxera; when the phylloxera epidemic of the mid to late 19th century hit Europe, some growers in European wine regions experimented with using hybrids until a solution involving grafting American rootstocks to vinifera varieties was found. The use of hybrids in wine production declined with their use formally outlawed by European wine laws in the 1950s; as commercial winemakers want to work with a desired grape variety that dependably produces a particular crop, most grapevines are propagated by clonal or massal selection of plant material. This can be accomplished in one of three ways. Cuttings—This involves a shoot taken from a mother vine and planted where the shoot will sprout a root system and regenerate itself into a full-fledged vine with trunk and canopy.
New cuttings will be first planted in a nursery where it is allowed to develop for a couple years before being planted in the vineyard. Grafting—This involves removing the canopy and most of the trunk of an existing vine and replacing it with a cutting of a new vine, sealed by a graft union; this technique, better known as head grafting, is a quick and inexpensive means of changing over a vineyard as the new cutting is able to take advantage of an existing root system and is able to start producing a crop by the next growing season. Layering—In established vineyards where only a few vines need to be replaced within a row, a new vine can be propagated by bending a cane from a neighboring vine into the ground and covering it with dirt; this segment of vine will soon begin sprouting its own independent root system while still being nourished by the connecting vine. The connection between the two vines are severed allowing each vine to grow independently; each cutting, taken from a mother vine, is a clone of that vine.
The way that a vine grower selects these cuttings can be described as either clonal or massal selection. In clonal selection, an ideal plant within a vineyard or nursery
Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, is a species of Vitis, native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes though only a few are of commercial significance for wine and table grape production, it is a liana growing to 32 m with flaky bark. The leaves are 5 -- 20 cm long and broad; the fruit is a berry, known as a grape. The species occurs in humid forests and streamsides; the wild grape is classified as V. vinifera subsp. Sylvestris, with V. vinifera subsp. Vinifera restricted to cultivated forms. Domesticated vines subsp.. Sylvestris is dioecious and pollination is required for fruit to develop; the grape is eaten processed to make wine or juice, or dried to produce raisins. Cultivars of Vitis vinifera form the basis of the majority of wines produced around the world. All of the familiar wine varieties belong to Vitis vinifera, cultivated on every continent except for Antarctica, in all the major wine regions of the world.
Wild grapes were harvested by early farmers. For thousands of years, the fruit has been harvested for both nutritional value. Changes in pip shape and distribution point to domestication occurring about 3500–3000 BC, in southwest Asia, South Caucasus, or the Western Black Sea shore region; the earliest evidence of domesticated grapes has been found at Gadachrili Gora, near the village of Imiri, Marneuli Municipality, in southeastern Republic of Georgia. Grape pips dating back to the V-IV millennia B. C. were found in Shulaveri. C. were found in Khizanaant Gora, all in the Republic of Georgia. Cultivation of the domesticated grape spread to other parts of the Old World in pre-historic or early historic times; the first written accounts of grapes and wine can be found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, an ancient Sumerian text from the third millennium BC. There are numerous hieroglyphic references from ancient Egypt, according to which wine was reserved for priests, state functionaries and the pharaoh. Hesiod in his Works and Days gives detailed descriptions of grape harvests and wine making techniques, there are many references in Homer.
Greek colonists introduced these practices in their colonies in southern Italy, known as Enotria due to its propitious climate. The Etruscans improved wine making techniques and developed an export trade beyond the Mediterranean basin; the ancient Romans further developed the techniques learnt from the Etruscans, as shown by numerous works of literature containing information, still valid today: De Agri Cultura by Cato the Elder, De re rustica by Marcus Terentius Varro, the Georgics by Virgil and De re rustica by Columella. During the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, the long crisis of the Roman Empire generated instability in the countryside which led to a reduction of viticulture in general, sustained only close to towns and cities and along coastlines. Between the 5th and 10th centuries, viticulture was sustained exclusively by the different religious orders in monasteries; the Benedictines and others extended the grape growing limit northwards and planted new vineyards at higher altitudes than was customary before.
Apart from ‘ecclesiastical’ viticulture, there developed in France, a ‘noble’ viticulture, practiced by the aristocracy as a symbol of prestige. Grape growing was a significant economic activity in the Middle east up to the 7th century, when the expansion of Islam caused it to decline. Between the Low Middle Ages and the Renaissance, viticulture began to flourish again. Demographic pressure, population concentration in towns and cities, the increased spending power of artisans and merchants gave rise to increased investment in viticulture, which became economically feasible once more. Much was written during the Renaissance on grape growing and wine production, favouring a more scientific approach; this literature can be considered the origin of modern ampelography. Grapes followed European colonies around the world, coming to North America around the 17th century, to Africa, South America and Australia. In North America it formed hybrids with native species from the genus Vitis. North American rootstocks became used to graft V. vinifera cultivars so as to withstand the presence of phylloxera.
V. Vinifera accounts for the majority of world wine production. In Europe, Vitis vinifera is concentrated in the southern regions.
Baco blanc or Baco 22A is a French-American hybrid grape variety. It is a cross of Folle blanche and the Noah grape, created in 1898 by the grape breeder François Baco. Folle blanche is its Vitis vinifera parent. Noah, its other parent, is itself a cross of Vitis labrusca and Vitis riparia. Baco blanc was developed to produce some of the same flavors as Folle blanche but without the susceptibility to American grape disease and phylloxera. In the 20th century it was planted in the Gascony region for uses in brandy production. Both Armagnac and Cognac are brandies made from white grapes – Ugni blanc, Folle blanche and Colombard – but only Armagnac was permitted under French regulations to use Baco blanc and until the late 1970s, Baco blanc was the primary grape of Armagnac. Following the grape's decline in the late 20th century, there was some speculation about the future of the variety after a 1992 Institut National des Appellations d'Origine decree that all vines of Baco blanc were to be uprooted by 2010.
However, advocates for the grape variety and its historical role in Armagnac were able to persuade French authorities to continue permitting its use in the distilled wines from the Armagnac region. Baco blanc was bred in 1898 by French grape breeder François Baco from a crossing of the Vitis vinifera Folle blanche, having difficulties taking to the rootstock grafting after the phylloxera epidemic of the mid to late 19th century, the American hybrid grape Noah (itself a crossing of an unknown Vitis labrusca species and the Vitis riparia grape Taylor. Four years earlier François Baco use Folle blanche and an unknown species of Vitis riparia to produce a dark skin version of Baco blanc known as Baco noir. Prior to Baco noir's development, Folle blanche was the grape variety for the eau de vie grape brandies produced in the Cognac and Armagnac regions of France. But, in addition to its difficulties with the new American rootstock, the grape was susceptible to several grape diseases including grey rot in the Cognac region and black rot in Armagnac.
The aim of François Baco was to produce a grape that had many of the neutral flavors and characteristics which made Folle blanche favorable for distillation but without the susceptibility that had plagued Folle Blanche growers. While growers in the Cognac region began adopting Ugni blanc, growers in the Armagnac region began to enthusiastically plant Baco's new white hybrid. For most of the 20th century, Baco blanc was the primary grape of the Armagnac region, its reached it peak in the 1970s when more than 85% of all plantings in the area were Baco blanc, accounting for more than 10,700 hectares. However, as Ugni blanc began gaining more of a foothold in other Gascon wine regions, the plantings of Baco blanc began to decline. By the end of the 20th century, Ugni blanc had eclipsed Baco blanc as the most planted grape in Armagnac; this decline lead to some speculation about the future of the variety after a 1992 degree that all vines of Baco blanc were to be uprooted by 2010. However, advocates for the grape variety and its historical role in Armagnac were able to persuade French authorities to continue permitting its use in the distilled wines from the Armagnac region.
While far from its early to mid-20th century prominence, the variety continues to play an important role in the Armagnac region and, as of 2005, the Bureau National Interprofessionnel de L'Armagnac reported that the grape variety was still used in the production of nearly half of all Armagnac. Baco blanc is found in France and was one of the "work-horse" hybrids that the country turned to following the phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century. While scattered plantings could be found throughout France, most of the Baco blanc plantings could be found on the west side of the country (in many of the areas where its parent vine, Folle blanche is found, from the South West France wine regions of Gascony all the way to the Loire Valley where it was popular Muscadet and Anjou wine-Saumur regions of the "Middle Loire"; the early to the mid-20th century saw a particular "boom period" in the Loire, with its cool maritime climate in most areas, for hybrid varieties. At late as 1979, Baco blanc along with other hybrid grapes such as Baco noir, Chambourcin and Villard noir accounting for more than 10% of all grape plantings.
But since the mid to late 20th century, the grape variety has fallen out of favor among French wine producers who are continuing pulling up their hybrid grapes and returning to vinifera-only plantings. In its Armagnac stronghold, Baco blanc vines are being uprooted and replanted with Ugni blanc. Baco blanc experienced a brief period of popularity in the emerging New Zealand wine industry during the 20th century but as that century drew to a close, New Zealand producers turned away from the variety to concentrate on vinifera grapes such as Müller-Thurgau and Sauvignon blanc. Today, what little Baco blanc is left in New Zealand is used for distillations and spirits. While Baco blanc does not share Folle blanche's sensitivities to grey and black grape rots, it can be susceptible to powdery mildew; this susceptibility is enhanced due to the tendency of Baco blanc vines to bud early and ripen late, putting at risk to rains and moisture of both early spring and early harvest time. However, while its growing season cycle doesn't bode well for wine production, its tendency to produce high acid, neutral flavor grapes with low sugars does work well for distillation.
According to Master of Wine Jancis Rob
Vitis rupestris is a species of grape native to the United States, known by many common names including July, sand, beach, currant, ingar and mountain grape. It is used for breeding several French-American hybrids as well as many root stocks; the cultivar known as Rupestris St. George has been used in breeding and as a root stock; the natural distribution of Vitis rupestris is concentrated in the Ozark Hills of Missouri and Arkansas. The species is less common in scattered populations east as far as Pennsylvania and southwest into Oklahoma and Texas. There are a few reports of the species occurring in the San Francisco Bay area of California, but these are most escapes from cultivation. Vitis rupestris is a self-supporting bushy plant that does not grow in the shade, is found only on rocky riverbanks and streambanks. Much of its habitat has been destroyed due to damming of rivers and destruction of islands for navigation. Vitis rupestris has been listed as threatened or endangered by Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Known locations of wild Vitis rupestris are disappearing, which may threaten the future of this grape species. It is found hybridized in parts of its range with other Vitis species. Growth is tapering, much branched and climbing more than 4 to 8 feet; the roots are slender and deep and enable it to resist drought by spreading deep underground to find the water table. Wood is smooth and red when young, becoming cylindrical and finely striated when mature with dark colored bark that becomes darker with age. Wood is not hard. Buds are small, globose or conical. Tendrils or small and crimson colored with short internodes. Leaves are lanceolate with large stipules with crimson veins. Petiole are and broadly grooved throughout the length. Leaves are nearly always smooth. Width of the leaves is 3" to 4", sometimes 5". Clusters are small, sometimes shouldered. Rachis is light green. Flowers are fertile, stamens recurved and bent laterally with flowers producing abundant pollen. Fruits are 1/4" to 1/2" in diameter, round or flattened around the stem and doubled like two berries coalesced.
The berries are black with little bloom, skin is thin and tender and pulp is tender and melting. Pulp is colored crimson or violet and part clings to the skin; the berries bear 3 to 4 small seeds on clusters around 8" long. Germination is quick and fruit ripens early; the species is able to bear fruit on young shoots pushed out by 2 to 4 year old wood if last year's wood has been lost to winter damage. It propagates from cuttings, the pollen is prepotent in fertilizing and hybridizing with other Vitis species. Has great resistance to drought due to its deep roots penetrating the water table. Where it is unable to do this though it is subject to injury. Foliage is well adapted to resisting fungus and insect attacks, although favored by many grazing mammals. Attacked by anthracnose but with minimal injury, resistant to black rot, downy mildew and powdery mildew. Used in hybridizing with other species to produce disease resistant Hybrid grapes; the species was used extensively to produce varieties able to withstand Phylloxera on their own roots and withstand attacks of Downy mildew.
Breeders that used the species include T. V. Munson, Albert Seibel, Joannes Seyve and Elmer Swenson (indirectly via hybridizing existing varieties containing'Vitis rupestris'.'Vitis rupestris' contributes a large proportion of ancestries of'French hybrid' grapes such as Seyval, although it was overlooked in its homeland in favor of Vitis labrusca. A large proportion of modern European "PIWI" varieties categorized as Vitis vinifera contain a large'Vitis rupestris' background such as Solaris and Regent. Vitis rupestris Missouri Plants, Photos of Vitis rupestris
Girdling called ring-barking is the complete removal of a strip of bark from around the entire circumference of either a branch or trunk of a woody plant. Girdling results in the death of the area above the girdle over time. A branch girdled will fail and when the main trunk of a tree is girdled, the entire tree will die, if it cannot regrow from above to bridge the wound. Animals such as rodents, will girdle trees by feeding on outer bark during winter under snow. Human practices of girdling including forestry and vandalism. Foresters use the practice of girdling to thin forests. Girdling can be caused by herbivorous mammals feeding on plant bark and by birds and insects, both of which can girdle a tree by boring rows of adjacent holes. Orchardists use girdling as a cultural technique to yield larger fruit or set fruit called cincturing used in agriculture. Only the layer just under the bark is removed for this technique. Like all vascular plants, trees use two vascular tissues for transportation of water and nutrients: the xylem and the phloem.
Girdling results in the removal of the phloem, death occurs from the inability of the leaves to transport sugars to the roots. In this process, the xylem is left untouched, the tree can still temporarily transport water and minerals from the roots to the leaves. Trees sprout shoots below the wound. Death occurs when the roots can no longer produce ATP and transport nutrients upwards through the xylem. Ring barking techniques have been developed to disrupt or impede sugar transport in phloem, stimulating early flower production and increasing fruiting, for controlling plant size, reducing the need for pruning. Girdling is a slow process compared to felling and is used only when necessary, such as in the removal of an individual tree from an ecologically protected area without damaging surrounding growth. Accidental girdling is possible and some activities must be performed with care. Saplings which are tied to a supporting stake may be girdled as they grow, due to friction caused by contact with the tie.
If ropes are tied to a tree, the friction of the rope can lead to the removal of bark. The practice of girdling has been known in Europe for some time. Another example is the girdling of selective Douglas-fir trees in some Northern California oak woodlands, such as Annadel State Park, in order to prevent that fir from massive invasion of the mixed oak woodland. Girdling can be used to create standing snags; this can provide a valuable habitat for a variety including insects and nesting birds. Girdling is used as a technique to force a fruit-bearing plant to bear larger fruit. A farmer would place a girdle at the trunk. Thus, all sugars manufactured by the leaves have no sinks but the fruit, which grows to above the normal size. For grapes girdling or cincturing is used to make the grapes large and sweeter on the grape canopy and are sold as girdled grapes. Flowering and fruit setting is a problem on some trees; the "damage" done by girdling restricts the movement of nutrients to the roots, thus the carbohydrates produced in the leaves do not go to the roots for storage.
Girdling temporarily stops tree growth. Root pruning, an ancient Asian practice, other controlled damaging, such as driving nails into the trunk or beating the branches and trunk, produce results that are similar to girdling. Girdling is used on grape, apple, mango and other trees. Girdling is only done to healthy trees that did not yield well the previous year. Care must be used not to damage sapwood that may kill the vine. Trees heal in four to five weeks after cincturing. Painting the cut can protect against fungus and pests. Both herbivores and birds can girdle trees in the process of normal feeding. In North America, voles in particular are prone to damaging trees by girdling both their roots and trunk. Among North American birds, the sapsuckers are the most common girdlers of trees. While sapsuckers will bore holes in tree trunks to feed upon insects, they make parallel rings of holes in order to eat sap that collects in the openings or to feed it to their young, they most attack pine, maple and fruit trees and do the most damage during breeding season and territory establishment between February and June.
The feeding activity of beavers is a major source of girdled trees near water sources. Many kinds of deer inadvertently girdle trees by rubbing their antlers on mature trees. One of several ways rabbits damage. Trees can be girdled by climbing and ground-creeping vines. There are several invasive species that harm trees in this way and cause significant damage to forest canopy and the health of ecosystems dependent on it. Oriental Bittersweet, Oriental Wisteria, English Ivy all can damage and kill trees by girdling. Debarking Forest pathology Pruning grafting Arborist Coppicing Fruit tree forms Lopping Pollarding Pruning fruit trees Topiary Dead hedge Annual growth cycle of grapevines Propagation of grapevines Girdling Effects
Vitis riparia Michx, with common names riverbank grape or frost grape, is a native American climbing or trailing vine distributed across central and eastern Canada and the central and northeastern parts of the United States, from Quebec to Texas, eastern Montana to Nova Scotia. There are reports of isolated populations in the northwestern USA, but these are naturalized, it is capable of reaching into the upper canopy of the tallest trees. It produces dark fruit that are appealing to both birds and people, has been used extensively in commercial viticulture as grafted rootstock and in hybrid grape breeding programs. Riverbank grape is a translation of the scientific name Vitis riparia. Mature vines have loose, fissured bark, may attain several inches in diameter. Leaves are alternate with opposite tendrils or inflorescences, coarsely toothed, 5–25 cm long and 5–20 cm broad, sometimes with sparse hairs on the underside of veins. V. riparia is functionally dioecious. The inflorescence is a panicle 4–15 cm long and loose, the flowers are small and white or greenish in color.
V. riparia blooms sometime between April and June and in August or September produces a small 6–15 mm blue-black berry with a bloom, juicy, vinous in flavor, lacking the "foxy" characteristics of Vitis labrusca, but quite sour and herbaceous. V. riparia has a wide range and may deviate in detail from the above general description. White berries, perfect flowers, large clusters, large berries, sweet fruit are among the known variations. However, some observers consider such variations as evidence of natural hybridization with other species of grapes. Vitis riparia has the largest geographical range of any of the North American Vitis species, it is present across nearly the entire eastern half of North America, excepting the far south and the most western portions of the great plains. Variants of the species have been observed as far north as Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, Canada and as far west as Montana and North Dakota. In the wild, the vine thrives along exposed areas with good sun exposure and adequate soil moisture, such as riverbanks, forest clearings, fence lines and along road sides.
The species has adapted to a variety of soil chemistries. Some V. riparia vines have been known to withstand temperatures as low as −57 °C. The foliage is resistant to mildew and black rot, the roots resistant to phylloxera; the berries however, are sensitive to mildew and black rot if the vine is exposed to prolonged wet and humid conditions. The most significant agricultural usage of V. riparia is as grafted rootstock for Vitis vinifera. Important advantages of the use of V. riparia include resistance to phylloxera and adaptation to variant soil types. Due to the extensive cold hardiness and fungal disease resistance of this species, it has been used extensively in grape breeding programs to transfer cold hardy and disease resistant genes to domesticated grapes; the French-American hybrid grapes are notable examples of these attempts. V. riparia has been used extensively for over a hundred years to create hardy hybrids. Many V. riparia hybrids are being used and investigated by plant breeders and in breeding programs such as those conducted by the University of Minnesota's horticulture program in an effort to make a commercially viable wine grape that can survive the northern climate of the Upper Midwest.
Examples of commercially important cultivars with significant V. Riparia ancestry include Baco noir, Marechal Foch, Triomphe d'Alsace and Frontenac. While V. riparia shares many important characteristics with its cousin, Vitis vinifera, the small size of the berry, the high acidity of its fruit, the intense pigment of its juice, the presence of herbaceous aromas in wine produced from it have made it unusable on its own for commercial viticulture. Vitis riparia is sometimes used to make flavorful homemade jellies and wine. Vitis riparia