Monday, 15 March 2010

Where should you plant your vineyard?

For many people, the reasons for planting in a particular spot are
- it comes with a nice house,
- close to good schools
- a decent pub just down the road.
Other reason - it's in a tourist area and you'll make as much money selling souvenirs in the shop as you do from the vineyard.
But, if you are looking to make world beating ultra fine wine then site selection is imperative, if you are only looking for something that is going to give a consistent crop then you have more choice.
Despite climate change, our charming climate is still marginal for grape growing . For those deniers I would look at the way peoples harvests have crept forward from as late as November to as early as 1st October in the last 20 years.  If you are going for the highest possible quality I would say you have to have all of the following -
Top tips for site selection -
South Facing
Well Drained
Low Altitude
Right Soil

If you don't have all four then you'll always struggle - maybe great ripeness if only you hadn't been hit by frost or lots of vigour but no grapes - there's no prizes for growing leaves unless you're thinking of starting a Dolmades business.

and... beware of consultants who want you to plant and would tell you that you have a great site on the top of a scrap heap, if they can get years of fees trying to cure the problems. There are large plantings out there with three to four year old vines that have grown less than a metre high who employed very expensive advice!

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