In a troubled era made even more complicated by poverty and by the aftermath of WWI, in Rauscedo, a small village right beneath the Carnic foothills, the technique of bench grafting is being perfected and refined, giving birth to the first grafted vine planted in the Friulian soil. Precious, in this perspective, are the suggestions offered to Rauscedo farmers by the Itinerant Teaching Post of Agriculture of Padua.
The collective effort uniting the villagers of Rauscedo gives rise to a strong feeling of solidarity, mutuality and ingenuity which will eventually bloom into the birth of Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo. In the nearby facilities, the distribution and shipment of the grafted vines starts happening by the most varied means: bicycles, motorcycles, horses, etc...
In the 1933 price list we can already find 24 red berry varieties, 16 white berry varieties, 17 table varieties and 7 types of rootstock.
The new headquarters are inaugurated in downtown Rauscedo. It is a memorable event both for the Co-operators and for all the villagers, who in such dire times will learn to gather around the Cooperative, regarded not only as the symbol of redemption from the hard and unrewarding toil in the fields, but also as the embodiment of those social and mutual values that are still alive today.
VCR features now a beautiful 6,000+ m2 facility, 60 hectares of field nursery, a production of 5 million vines and, most importantly, it is surrounded by the 200 families of the village, out of which 156 have become cooperative members.
The new VCR logo and the new catalogue are designed. The message the new logo is meant to convey is unity in cooperation: many producers (156) united in one single company.
VCR vines cross the national borders. Significant sales are made in Albania, Yugoslavia and, to a lesser extent, in France and Spain.
Birth of the VCR Experimental Center aiming at perfecting the nursery techniques and at starting clone selection programs for the most widespread Italian grape varieties and rootstocks. Clone selection takes its first steps and Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo, the only private company able to boast the title of "Grape breeder", in 1969 would get the official certification of the first 51 clones of the "Rauscedo" series.
Micro-vinification becomes a routine activity at the Experimental Center and increasingly draws the attention of winemaking specialists, thus bridging the gap between oenologists and nurserymen by creating a permanent dialogue to the progress of the entire wine industry.
This year marks a further milestone for VCR: the new headquarters, though operational since 1968, are officially inaugurated. They feature modern offices and state-of-the-art processing/storage facilities on a surface of more than 12,000m2.
VCR embraces new propagation techniques such as micropropagation, green grafting, disease-eradication through thermotherapy, paraffin and mulching, as well as omega grafting. Later, the introduction of Elisa test and PCR in clone selection protocols perfects and speeds up health check procedures, giving rise to a new selection program aimed at obtaining original VCR clones that would become more performing, healthier and genetically improved.
It is time to enter the southern Italian market. VCR's commercial network is now widespread in the entire country, thanks to the direct field work carried out by sales agents.
Historical date: it’s the beginning of the partnership with Agromillora Catalana, which will later help consolidating VCR's presence in Spain with over 50 sales agents and 9 million vines plants per year.
Greece comes into play, a market not yet as important as Spain, but still interesting for its plenitude of native cultivars, which later will become the focus of a new surge of clone selections in partnership with Vitro Hellas.
Another VCR’s important undertaking is accomplished: the Scion Mother Plant facility in Fossalon di Grado is built and designed as a place where the best base category clones are grown to provide VCR’s cooperative members and customers the healthiest product with a superior genetic profile. The initially planted area, about 30 hectares, has progressively expanded and now spreads on more than 130 hectares, to which must be added 20 hectares in Nimes (France) and further 350 hectares managed by VCR members.
VCR's commercial expansion flourishes uninterrupted: inland sales reach an annual record of 23 million plants, while export sales score over 7 million. In some countries such as the United States, Australia, Chile and South Africa existing quarantine regulations only allow domestic production. That is why VCR decides to set up a nursery called Novavine in California founding a joint venture with a local partner: this is the first step towards the consolidation of VCR’s presence on the prestigious Californian market. Shortly thereafter VCR clones start spreading also to Australia through the partnership with Chalmers Nurseries.
It's time for France! VCR-France opens its doors in Nimes, in the French Midi: VCR - with their 90% shares – and the D'Andrea brothers from Toulouse (but natives of Rauscedo) - with their 10% - are the founding partners. Through this new investment VCR will consolidate their presence in France: in 2007 sales would reach 3 million units. As a result, the new VCR France headquarters, equipped with modern offices, refrigerators, storerooms and processing rooms, are built in Boucoiran.
In the effort of providing concrete solutions to both the ongoing climate change and the multiple needs of wine industry, VCR officially enters a new partnership with the University of Udine and the Institute of Applied Genomics, which is aimed at obtaining and marketing new downy- and powdery-mildew highly resistant vines. At the same time, together with the University of Milan and the company Winegraft, VCR engages in a challenging research and development mission that leads to the creation of the "M-series" rootstocks, much more “rustic” and efficient than the traditional ones and able to mitigate the effects of climate change on viticulture.
In partnership with the Institute of Applied Genomics (IGA) the "NeosVine" project for the implementation of modern green biotechnology in viticulture is launched. The innovative genome editing techniques will now allow to insert targeted modifications into precise DNA sequences, where genes responsible for specific biological properties are located, thus improving the agronomic qualities of the plants. Through this challenging path VCR aims once again at providing all winegrowers with tangible and effective solutions.
As history teaches: "To know where you are going, you have to first know where you come from". The long journey made so far by VCR represents a solid foundation for future key contributions to the innovation of the wine and nursery industries. With this in mind, believing that the best way to predict the future is to create it, Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo focus once again on Research and Innovation with the creation of the new VCR Research Center: a major investment, a state-of-the art experimental facility equipped with cutting-edge biotechnological installations. These key assets are strongly needed today and will prove of paramount importance as early as tomorrow.
Here in Rauscedo VCR's long journey has given birth to the world's largest nursery complex, which - with 80 million grafted vine plants produced annually - holds an undisputed global leadership. On strategic markets VCR’s well-established and efficient distribution network provides the customers with a continual and close presence: from Spain to Greece, from France to the United States and Russia, winegrowers can rely on an extensive network of sales agents coordinated by area managers. In other countries, partnerships are created with local agents with exclusive mandate under the direct management of VCR’ headquarters. Globally, VCR operates in 35 wine-growing countries.