(Contributed by Erica Schreckenghaust) – The SSU Winesense club knows where to buy wine grape vines because they recently took a field trip to Novavine in Sonoma County. Novavine is a nursery near Santa Rosa, California that is dedicated to helping people plant successful vineyards including grapes and olives.
The tour was led Ernie and Ophelia, both employees of Novavine. They explained the complete process of grafting, growing, and packaging winegrape vines, as well as installing of vineyards.
Novavine was started in 1996 by Ellen and Milton Heath because they wanted to create a knowledgeable and high quality nursery for the Northern California area. In 2002 Jay Jensen took over as CEO and has been a key component of growing the Novavine brand to what it is today.
Novavine is made up of a 27 acre site with 45,000 square feet of greenhouse space, offices and production facility in Santa Rosa and an additional 90 acres in Yolo County. They have a great selection of rootstocks and clones because they have partnered with various nurseries in the United States and internationally to offer the best for their customers.
All of their vines are grown with symbiotic mycorrhizae in soil with a rich microbial food web to promote healthy and hearty roots. Novavine has also pioneered the sustainable aspect of the nursery industry, using many nonchemical methods to grow and protect the plants.
It was a fascinating field trip, and now everyone knows how much care and attention it takes to grow healthy winegrape vines.