Course: Understanding Wine

Class 9: Winegrowing and Winemaking

vineyard decisions

Beyond deciding on a vineyard location and which variety to plant, grapegrowers make several decisions that influence the quality of the fruit:



Spacing, or how close to plant the vines.

Although more vines per acre cost more to plant and tend, closely-spaced vines are forced to compete for nutrients. This means that each vine produces less fruit, and usually, less fruit per vine means better fruit.

On the other hand, if the vineyard is going to be harvested mechanically, the rows need to be further apart to make room for the tractor.



Training, or shaping the vine's permanent wood or trunk.

In cool regions, vines can be trained low absorb more heat reflected off the ground or they can be trained high to lift the fruit above low-lying...

Ready to enroll? First, you must register for a membership to Your membership benefits include:

FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School

Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes

FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are

E-newsletters with advance ratings

Editors’ blogs

Food and wine matching tool

And much more

Log In If You're Already a Member

Please log in using your email address and password for Wine Spectator School students who enrolled before 7.4.10, log in with your email address and school password or get more info here.

Forgot Password?

By clicking "Log in" you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Wine Spectator Online

Read our FAQ for more information

If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.


= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences