If you are looking to achieve a great tasting wine (which Im sure you are), you must first select a quality grape to grow in your grapevine. Good grape planting is the first step on the road to great wine making.
Just like in real estate, grape quality mainly abides by one factor: Location, location, location!
Location, Location, Location!
To achieve a sweet, small fruit that is OK for wine making and fermentation, it’s vital to find the best spot possible in your growing area to plant your first grapevines. The prime spot desires to receive high daylight exposure to develop the sugars in the fruit that will later lead the fermentation process. Additionally, not only should daylight be plentiful, but it should also be exposed evenly on each side of the vine.
Aside from sunlight levels, the type of soil your plants will sit in is another important factor to take in consideration when selecting the destination of your grapevines during planting. Grapevines thrive in nutrient-poor soils, since the lack on vitamins and minerals forces the fruit to grow smaller. A smaller fruit not only implies more flavor-providing skin, but also higher sugar concentration aspects that are optimum for wine making.
If the soil were fertilized with nutrients, the resulting fruit in your vine would be bigger, tangier and juicier. This type of fruit is unsuitable for the wine process since the bonus juice would add too much liquid into the fermentation mixture, weakening the already frail process that is slowed down due to low sugar concentrations.
Drainage is another crucial aspect to consider before planting your grape vines. The area where you will plant must be dry, in contrast to wet and puddly. Spacing your vines 6ft apart when you plant them will ensure drainage is maximized, with an average yield of 1 gallon of wine per grapevine.
Vines are characterized for their climbing, explaining why grapes are planted with the utilization of a trellis that assists the vines mounting. The use of a trellis also aids the drainage of the crop, loosening the soil underneath the vine.
There are always chances of losing some of your crops to pests such as plant diseases, insects and other larger animals like birds and deer. Its important to make up for these loses in advance by planting extra vines that will make up for the lost plants.
The Planting Method
During the first year of growth, you will tie the strongest shoot in each vine to the trellis using string, and clipping off any extra shoots growing on the roots. During the vines dormant season, another pruning will be necessary.
In the spring, once the buds grow again, you’ll again pick from the strongest shoots, and tie them together loosely as they grow. Overtime, these will be the extremities were the fruits will grow.
In order to determine the ripeness of your fruits and know when to harvest, the use of a hydrometer is essential. Hydrometers measure the gravity of individual liquids, calculating the sugar concentrations in your grapes. Once you begin using a hydrometer, you will find that optimum gravity levels for a perfectly ripe fruit that is ready to harvest varies between 1.095 and 1.105.
Growing grapes does take a mean of 3 years before your first harvest, but simple details in the grape planting and growing process will make a rewarding difference in the flavor of the wine you will be making them.
Pierre Duponte is a grape growing expert. He spends his time teaching others how to make fine wines. For more great tips on Grape Planting or you can get his free 10 part mini course on grape growing and how to make wine visit http://www.grapegrowingwinemakingtips.com/.
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