This paper describes the use of fruit-bearing grapevine hardwood cuttings as a model system for grapevine research, translating some studies that are difficult to execute under field conditions in the vineyards to facilities under controlled conditions. This approach enables to simulate in greenhouses future climate conditions and to investigate putative responses of grapevine to climate change. An updated description of how to grow grapevine fruit-bearing cuttings is made, together with modifications to carry out studies of partial rootzone drying, regulated deficit irrigation studies and symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. We summarize how extensive has been the use of fruit-bearing cuttings in grapevine research over the years, with special emphasis in those experiments that analyze the effects of factors related to climate change, such as elevated CO2, elevated temperature, water availability and UV-B radiation, on grapevine physiology, production and grape quality. A validation of the model is made, comparing results obtained with fruit-bearing cuttings with those obtained from vineyard-grown plants. We discuss some advantages of growing grapevines under elevated CO2 with an atmosphere depleted in C-13, using this stable isotope (C-13) and others (N-15, Fe-54 or Fe-57, etc.) as tracers for C, N and other nutrient metabolism studies.