Designing Your Vineyard

If you are ready to design your vineyard, it is assumed that you have completed the following:

Soil sampling

Adjustment of soil pH level

Adding necessary nutrients to the soil

First tilling



These should be your specific goals when designing a vineyard:

1. Maximize the bearing capacity of the land per acre and with the least amount of time.

2. Optimize the production of grape vines.

3. Reduce or prevent destructive erosion of the soil.

4. Increase the efficiency at which vine management is carried out.

5. Facilitate the use of farming equipment and vehicles throughout the whole vineyard.

General Guidelines for Vineyard Design

A main plan of the entire vineyard has to be drawn up prior to the actual implementation of any changes to

the land. You should be able to see nearby roads, existing rows of land, and points in the entire land where

tool sheds and storage structures are situated.

If you have a large piece of land, the entire area of the property should be divided into more manageable

'blocks' of land. This can be done through professional surveying (a geodetic engineer can help).

All sides of the vineyard should have accessible space equal to the space in between killed rows and cover


If your property is large, usable blocks of land should be separated by wider avenues to facilitate air

circulation. Poor air circulation can result in many problems during the production phase of your vineyard.

Proper Row Positioning

There are several factors that affect the proper direction and placement of rows:

1. Amount of light available and the direction of the light

2. Slope (steepness) of the vineyard

3. Consistent wind speeds in the area

Usually, rows that run from the north to south are able to get more sunlight than rows that run from east to the west.

If you think the natural shade of nearby trees could be a problem, you should design your rows to run from the north to the south and the rows should be spaced closely together

In this type of situation, the wider the separation of the rows, the less sunlight the rows receive.

If the area is generally windy, the direction of the killed rows should be parallel to the direction of the strong winds and not perpendicular or against the wind (doing so will damage your vines and reduce production).

If you plan on establishing a raisin vineyard, then the rows should run from east to west (as opposed to north to south). The rows in between the grape vines will receive extra light, which is important when drying grapes.

Should the spacing between the rows be based entirely on the size of the farming equipment you have? No. In fact, newly established vineyards should have ideal row spacing to encourage maximum growth of the grape vines.

The equipment used on the vineyard should conform to the existing ideal spacing and not the other way around. A well-spaced vineyard will outlast farm equipment by years because the land will continually give life to hard-wearing and very productive grape vines.