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R&D Laboratory

Unik® program

► Massal selections and sanitary precision
 Improving the genetic diversity in your vineyards without agronomic and sanitary risk.


 Private selection interest: In 2003, the Mercier nurseries have started studying genetic and sanitary selection of vines following two findings:1.The genetic erosion of propagated material delivered to growers significantly reduces the vineyards diversity. 2. It appears that some important varieties plant material currently available for propagation does not fulfil the growers and winemakers expectations.
Therefore, Mercier decided to start a private selection program in order to offer to the most demanding growers and winemakers the plant material adapted to their needs. The aim is also to rise and to preserve the variety genetic diversity.

 Unik® programIf a traditional massal selection is simply to visually mark old vines that show targeted objectives and then to propagate them, the Unik® program goes much further. It starts with the broadest possible selection perimeter: several old vineyards of different growers in different areas for each variety and sometimes in other countries such as Argentina for the Malbec or Spain for Grenache Noir. The sanitary aspect is essential for Mercier nurseries. In this way, all selected old vines matching with the targeted objectives are virus tested by our ISO 17 025 certified Novatech Mercier laboratory, vs main vine plant viruses: ArMV, GFlV, GLRaV1, 2 and 3. Since 2012, our Unik massal selections are also guaranteed free from secondary viruses.
 Mercier is involved in the following grape variety selection: Petit Verdot, Carmenère, Chenin, Cabernet-Franc, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Cot (Malbec), Grenache Noir and Grolleau.


 Prospecting: The perimeter must be the broadest possible and not only one country, one area, one grower and one plot. The vineyards must be older than 40 years with unidentified clones.

 Sanitary tests: The old vines that are matching with the targeted objectives of the selection and that look free from viruses are tested vs main and secondary viruses before being propagated.

 Agronomic assessment: The healthy selected old vines are then planted in a dedicated assessment plot. It aims to make a comparative agronomic assessment of these old vines beside one or more reference clones. Old vines are selected according to different criteria: no virus symptoms, growing, fertility, berries and bunches size, etc…

 Oenological assessment: The micro vinifications are made with the most promising clones after 2 years of agronomic assessment. The protocol is at least 30 liters per clone micro-vinification, 1 certified reference clone control; Measurement:  alcoholic degree, residual sugars, total acidity, pH, volatile acidity, malolactic fermentation control, Total Polyphenols Index, color shade, color intensity, CO2 and free SO2; tasting by a panel of professional representing the industry.

 Results: At the end of the selection process, we offer to growers and winemakers material that exactly matches with their expectations and those of the market.


 The sanitary security: All our selection projects start with virus testing made by a certified COFRAC laboratory. Unik® Massal selections are all guaranteed free from the main vine plant viruses (fan-leaf and leaf-roll 1, 2, 3 and secondary viruses).

 The genetic diversity: The first perimeter of prospection is the broadest possible in order to maximize the genetic diversity. At the beginning of the selection, we count more than 250 old vines to finally select just some of them. 5 to 10 old vines are finally selected for their agronomic and oenological quality further to several years of assessment beside one or several reference clones. Then, those 5 to 10 old vines are propagated in mixture and offered to the growers on the rootstock of their choice.
 The agronomic precision: Old vines incorporating Unik® massal selections have been studied for several years to assess their agronomic and oenological features and to confirm their higher characteristics beside the reference clones and to fulfil the targeted objectives of the selection. Only homogeneous old vines on maturity aspect, are brought together and propagated.



 Available varieties list in Unik® massal selection (3 varieties are right now available for the propagation and fifteen are currently being selected):

Technical data sheet  Petit Verdot Unik® G1
Technical data sheet  Grenache Unik® G1
Technical data sheet  Carménère Unik® G1

► For any further information or stock availability, contact your Mercier technician

 Available Formats and Options for MERCIER Unik® massal selections :

 Bare roots dormant vines

Ideal for your plantations
Click here for more information
 Ceptonic® M11                           
 Roots trimming           
 Hot water treatment before grafting only**
 Vines in biodegradable pots 7x9

Suitable for your plantations and replacements
here for more information
 Ceptonic® M11
 Hot water treatment**


► For any further information or stock availability, contact your Mercier technician

Only certified material can be eligible for subsidy, selection material is not.
In compliance with the company policy in sanitary quality and in compliance with regulations, it is not possible to propagate vegetal material that could be potentially virus-infected.


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