Advice for Looking at Vineyard Properties

by : mathew g

Decide what grapes you intend to plant.

The details of your ideal land will greatly depend on the specific grapes you plan on growing. Before beginning your search you should research your favorite grapes so you have know what criteria to look for.

Look for sloped sites.

Grapevines need excellent drainage to flourish. If their roots are soaked in water they won’t produce good grapes and could even die. Ideally your vines should be located on a southeast to southwest facing slope so their leaves can soak up as much sunlight as possible.

Make sure there is ample sunshine.

To fully ripen, grapes need sufficient heat during the growing season. Wine grapes need at least 1,400 hours of annual sunlight during the growing season to ripen properly. This is also causes grapes to mature faster thus increasing the quality of the wine

Avoid areas with excess rain.

The amount of rainfall a region receives has a large impact on the type and quality of the grapes and wine produced. A very wet summer can induce harmful mildew in a vineyard. Additionally, precipitation shortly before harvest may dilute sugar levels and adversely affect the finished wine, thus the climate must be right. However, vines need no less than 22 annual inches of precipitation to survive. As usual, balance is critical.

Look for land with deep soil.

Most great wines are produced from grapes grown in deep, well-drained soils. Soil depth helps determine how deep a vine’s roots can grow. Vines will not grow well in gray, shoddy subsoil.

Check neighboring foliage.

Nearby trees can produce bothersome shade along with dozens of other problems. Nearby trees can also rob soil of needed moisture and may even contain wild grape vines that carry diseases and insects.

Test the soil’s nutrients

When you have narrowed your site selection, it’s a good idea to take soil samples and have them tested. This extra step will reveal the soil’s nutrient and acidity levels. Your county extension office can usually refer you to a testing facility and will make recommendations other recommendations about your soil.