Evaluating a Vineyard Property

Once you find a property that fits your requirements, you can start evaluating that particular parcel—but what makes land suitable for a vineyard? This is a subject that people discuss for hours and hours. To start with, it is easier to say what land isn’t suitable for planting.

  1. Soils with slopes that exceed 50%.
  2. Soils that don’t drain at all or contain vernal pools.
  3. Land without an adequate source of water for irrigation.
  4. Too high – Growing grapes above 2,500 feet is a special challenge
  5. Too cold – Hard frosts (below 20 degrees) after February.
  6.  Too cool – This is a variety by variety decision.
  7. Soils extremely high in Magnesium or extremely high in Calcium

Otherwise, grapes are a very adaptable plant and can grow just about anywhere.  But, if you are looking for an especially good site, here are things to keep in mind.

  1.  Hillside – 5% to 20% slope.
  2. Rocky – the rockier the better, although it will making farming difficult.
  3. Some altitude – between 1000 and 2000 feet.
  4. Good sun exposure.
  5. Well drained.
  6. Volcanic soils – but any rocky, well drained soil will work.
  7. Enough warmth every year to ripen grapes.
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