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I have three young grapevine cuttings about the size of a 30cm ruler (above ground). They rooted last spring (Australian spring), which was three months ago or so, and had a few leaves growing. I placed them in a really sunny spot next to an iron fence (which radiates heat).

After reaching 46C (115F) a few days ago, their leaves burnt off (they were doing quite well in 'normal' hot days though). So I moved them to a place that gets like 3-5 years of sunlight (also near a metal fence). Now I'm beginning to regret it, really, as I read grapevines need 7 hours (or more) of sunshine. But the Australian sun is really intense. What a predicament.

Here they are before and after:enter image description hereenter image description here

In the second photo, they have been transplanted in the shadier area.

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Burning on grape wine is normal, you will find it also in more temperate regions, so in future the outer leaves could act as shading, in case of extreme weather.

On small plants, burning is never a good thing, so I would add some shadows, also just some temporary screens. Forget about the "7 hour sun". I have seen many vineyards which cannot get so much sun (white fruit wine likes colder place). Eventually such rule is to produce some type of wine, in any case such rule should not be applied for such small plants. So a temporary shadow screen is in my opinion needed, and it helps also to have more distances between nodes, so you can get a better vine, with less pruning (this is important on lower part of trunk).

In any case, you planted the grape vine very near each other. I would move them apart (maybe on winter, do not worry, they will growth roots). 50cm is the minimum, but I would put 1 or 2 meter apart, or it will be a nightmare on pruning.

I cannot recognize the variety, but it seems that they are not grafted. In many wine regions it is forbidden to have non grafted grape wines (but on few strict condition, this is done not to risk all wine production). You have not a sandy soil so please consider the risk.

In any case, I do not like your grape vines: they seems too thin and too "zigzag". You should take a more central shoot. [Grape vines will root incredibly well, maybe shorter if you cannot find long shots, but a straight branch]. Also the leaves seem not so healthy (maybe it is just the variety): usually it is because lack of nutrients. If there was previously a lawn, lack of boron is a common cause (and it could be confused with other nutrient deficiencies), so I would just add (when you have enough water) some complete fertilizer with boron.

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  • Thanks for the detailed answer. These are cuttings from a grapevine plant with smaller leaves that turn bright red in the winter or late autumn. I cut them off last June (early winter) from a neighbour's, and they rooted 4 months later in soil. I have a 10 year old, vigorous grapevine in my backyard and its leaves turn yellow. So what variety would these cuttings be? And why do some grapevines have different 'autumn colours'? – E.Groeg Jan 7 at 14:25
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    I do not know the reason. but it depends on variety. White grape vines tend to be yellow, but in my experience few varieties of red wine grapes tend to have a good red. I think Pinot Noir is one of this. Different varieties have different leave (size, cutting, veins, the kind of green, etc.), so I'm not surprised that colour is different, but also same variety had different "reddish". But I never checked in details. – Giacomo Catenazzi Jan 7 at 14:58
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In central Victoria, leafy plants have been doing badly when just north of a fence like that. heat from fence.

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