Greg Schultz
June 23, 2013 | Greg Schultz

Blog: Vineyard Plans

I found a used drafting board on Craig’s List and bought it.  I also bought an architect’s scale ruler, and several triangles.  I have not done much drafting since Junior High School, but have always enjoyed design work (can you tell I am a career engineer)?   With Chris Hubert’s input and a lot of help from Debbie, I set out to draw up our vineyard plan.  We need at least 7 feet on the outside of the rows and at least 25 feet on the ends of the rows (so the tractor can turn around).  We pounded stakes, pulled string, and walked up and down and around the vineyard about a dozen times making adjustments.
Using a 1” = 20’ scale, I was able to get the plan on 18” x 30” paper.  Our total lot size is 2.6 acres, but with the house, cottage, barn, driveways, easements, etc I knew I only had a little over an acre for the vineyard.  I wanted to maximize the vineyard, leaving room for some fruit trees, and attempting to create a visually appealing landscape.  Using the north-south orientation that both Chris and Dr. Greg Jones recommended I laid out rows ranging in length from 40’ to 340’—a total of 47 rows.

I drew a second plan after reviewing my notes from the UC Davis Winemaker Certificate program and after consulting with Ron Burley of Steelhead Run Vineyard.  There is some research and good firsthand farming experience in aligning wine grape rows on a NNE-SSW orientation.  This has to do with the location of the sun during long, hot summer days relative to the leaves (and especially the fruit) of the vine.  In spite of these potential benefits, this orientation just did not work well with our site resulting in less plantable acreage.  So we went back to Plan #1 and with a few slight adjustments have almost exactly 1.25 acres of vineyard--enough for almost 2000 plants.  This should keep Debbie and me busy!

One day closer to a vineyard…


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