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Why are there Roses at the end of each row of Grapevines?

Mike, the hubby, loves to tell our guests the story of roses in the vineyard as we are visiting wineries…and they are usually impressed and intrigued by this knowledge…so why not write a Tipsy Tuesday about it!?

They aren’t just for the obvious beauty that a rosebush can add to any setting, they actually serve a purpose to the winemaker.  Roses are planted at the end of grape rows as an early warning system for the winegrower. Because they are fragrant flowers, they attract insects such as aphids before they can make their way to the vines.  This way the winemaker or vineyard manager will know what insects are in the vineyard that could potentially threaten their grapes. They also attract beneficial insects that will prey on the undesirable insects.

It can also serve as an early warning sign of mildew.  If the rosebush has mildew, it will let the vineyard manager know that the vines may be susceptible to mildew as well.  It isn’t the same strain of mildew but if the conditions can cause it on the rose bush, it will also be good conditions for downy mildew on vines.

I also read that an ancient tradition of rose bushes at the end of a row served the purpose of pricking or poking the horses or oxen to turn properly at the end of the row…if they didn’t want to get pricked, they wouldn’t be able to take the shortcut of cutting a corner…they had to go all the way around.

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