Palmaz Roses5/3/2021 9:23:57 PM
by Florencia Palmaz | May 3rd, 2021
Roses growing in our vineyards look gorgeous, sure, but we plant them for a variety of reasons—not just because they add a pop of color.
Historically, the practice of planting roses in vineyards originated in Europe, like many winemaking traditions. Winemakers in Italy and France placed them at the end of rows for mold control and to help guide plow animals. During times when oxen and horses were commonly used to plow vineyards, rose thorns would keep them from cutting corners and damaging the vines.
While we have swapped out the oxen for the tractor, we do value roses as an early warning system of disease. Roses fall prey to the same diseases that can devastate a vineyard such as powdery mildew. We plant rose bushes on the end of our rows because they will show signs of disease earlier than the vines. With this system, our vineyard team can take steps to treat the grapes before the disease spreads. If our roses look healthy and gorgeous, it’s likely the vines are too.
It helps that Napa Valley has the perfect climate and soil to grow roses. We don’t even need root stock—we just take clippings from Amalia’s rose gardens at the old Hagen estate and stick them directly into the ground in the spring. Our mom’s roses brighten the path throughout the vineyard. It’s such a welcome sign of spring to walk though vineyards when roses are in full bloom.