Once the vineyard site is established, the
management process begins. The soil must be worked, vines must
be planted, and trellises must be laid. Any irrigation systems
must also be implemented, and cover crop planted. When the vines
start to grow, pruning should be done to ensure healthy vine and
grape maturity. Close monitoring of fruit is also essential to
producing quality winegrapes.
Development - Understanding the grape-growing
process, from vine to wine, is extremely important if one wants to
produce excellent grapes. A vineyard manager must closely monitor
the grape from bud to veraison to harvest. It is good to
perform detailed chemical analysis or lab tests on the grapes if
Groundwork - Grapevines
are capable of growing very deep into the ground, but are usually
concentrated to just the top three feet of soil. Generally, the
ground must be tilled one year in advance of planting, and any weeds
or bigger objects removed. Vineyard orientation and vine and row
spacing must also be considered. Cover crops planted between the
rows should be considered as a means to control erosion and promote
Irrigation - Not
all areas need water supplements. The average vineyard needs
only about 24 inches of rainfall per year to yield quality grapes.
In fact, it is often desirable to have less rainfall rather than
more, which deprives the vines in a way that produces higher quality
Pruning - Controlling
vine growth is important to producing vines that yield good fruit.
Dormant vines should be pruned annually, during the cold season.
Pruning the vines promotes a proper balance between overproduction
of fruit and undercropping.
Systems - When grapevines begin to grow, they need
support systems for the branches. Trellises are the most
popular type of support system currently in use. One must consider
the variety of materials used, plus trellis spacing and height.