In California, a novel closterovirus was detected in “Redglobe” grapevine, associated with graft incompatibility and given a trivial name “Grapevine rootstock stem lesion associated virus (GRSLaV).” The biological properties of the putative virus were ascertained when asymptomatic yet infected Redglobe scion buds were graft-inoculated onto test plants of Cabernet Sauvignon propagated on 18 different rootstocks. It proved lethal on test plants growing on rootstocks 1616C, 5BB, 5C, 3309C, and 1103 P, whereas latent infections occurred on the remaining scion-rootstock combinations. In contrast, GLRaV-2 type (type strain) produced only typical leafroll symptoms. In a different experiment, GLRaV-2 type was successfully sap-transmitted to N. benthamiana, whereas sap transmission of GRSLaV was unsuccessful. Double-stranded RNA was extracted from infected Redglobe grapevines, cloned, sequenced, and determined a genome length of 16,527 nucleotides. Computer-assisted analysis of open-reading frames (ORFs) revealed a genome organization typical of monopartite viruses in the genus Closterovirus with nine ORFs (range 71–79% identity) with GLRaV-2 type, the closest similar virus species within the family Closteroviridae. Also the 3′-UTR of GRSLaV consisted of 223 nucleotides with an extended oligo(A) tract similar to that of GLRaV-2 type, Beet yellow stunt virus, and Beet yellows virus. Recombinant GRSLaV coat protein was expressed in E. coli, purified, and immunized a rabbit to produce polyclonal antiserum. Serological data matched the molecular data, whereby exposed plant tissue extracts of grapevines infected by both viruses (GRSLaV and GLRaV-2) reacted positively with homologous and heterologous viral antisera but not with healthy grapevine extracts in ELISA and Western blot tests. Based on the comparative sequence data and shared antigens, GRSLaV is now considered a strain of GLRaV-2 and redesignated as Grapevine leafroll associated virus-2 Redglobe (GLRaV-2RG). Primers specific for GLRaV-2RG were developed, which did not amplify GLRaV-2 type strain. When both sets of specific primers were used in assays of different grapevine collections, the incidence of the respective viruses varied considerably, e.g., 1.7 and 13.5%, respectively, for GLRaV-2RG and GLRaV-2 type.