A Timeline for Establishing a Vineyard
VineWorks has been planting vineyards in the UK for over 17 years. Our experience and attention to detail has positioned us as market leaders in cool climate vineyard establishment. We’ve created this step-by-step guide to give insight into the typical vineyard establishment project.
LET'S GET STARTED
The first step is to contact a viticulture consultant and provide an outline of the land you think is suitable. At VineWorks, once we have completed some preliminary work using topographical and mapping software, one of our team will conduct a visual site assessment with you.
If everything looks positive, the next step would be to undertake a detailed site evaluation, determining soil type, aspect, climatic conditions and so on. From this a viticultural suitability report is written giving you all the information you require to make the best decisions for your venture, whether you wish to specialise in still or sparkling wine, produce the wine yourself or become a contract grower. The survey enables the consultant to recommend the grape varieties to grow that will ripen successfully on your land.
DESIGNING YOUR VINEYARD
Your consultant will help you design and build your vineyard. For instance, at VineWorks we can source everything you need from vines to trellis materials and provide the expert teams to complete the installation. Your consultant should guide you through the necessary preparations required prior to planting, including liaising with an agronomist who will analyse your soil results and advise on any nutrient adjustments, calculate planting density and recommend a trellising system based on your end objectives.
Your consultant will help source appropriate vines for you to plant from a certified vine importer to ensure your vines are registered and receive approved plant passports sourced from vine nurseries in Europe.
Planting your vineyard requires precision, which is why we use Global Positioning System (GPS) guided planting machines. GPS planting allows us to precisely plant the field to an agreed specification and vine density ensuring uniform rows and the maximum area utilised.
After your vines are planted and trellising is installed, you will need to have a plan for the ongoing seasonal maintenance of your vineyard (e.g., bud rubbing, pruning, harvesting). How you manage this will depend on your experience and capacity. You may have the means to do all or some of this work yourself, or you might wish to secure the services of a viticulture company. At VineWorks, we offer a range of viticultural consultancy packages and vineyard operations tailored to suit the individual needs of the client.
Choosing who to partner with when establishing a vineyard successfully and correctly is an important decision. It's a lengthy process which requires expertise, experience and strong customer focus.
Here at VineWorks we work to achieve the best outcome for both customer and industry ONE VINE AT A TIME.
Photo credit (c) VineWorks, 2021