There is nothing lovelier than a vineyard with a rose bush at either end of the rows, adding a splash of color to the muted reds and greens of the grapevines. But, did you know that there is more to this relationship than just the eye candy aspect? The roses are purposefully planted to help monitor the health of the vineyard since the same diseases and fungi that affect grapevines also affect roses. The roses are more sensitive than the grapevines so any problems will appear first in the roses giving the grower a chance to treat the vines before damage is done to the harvest. Kind of reminiscent of the canary in a coal mine strategy!
One of the Pinot vineyards that grows grapes for us follows this methodology and right now the grapes are nearly ready to harvest and the roses are in full bloom.
It seems that roses and grapevines go together like, well, wine and cheese!