Establishing a Vineyard
Scroll Down for:
- Importance of Clean Plants and Quarantines
- Getting Started
- Vineyard Design Considerations
- Washington State: Geology and Climate
- Variety and Rootstock Selection
- Trellis Design and Vine Training
- Field-Grafting Grapevines
Importance of Clean Plants and Quarantines
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Regardless of whether you are a commercial grape producer or a backyard enthusiast, Washington State has strict quarantines regarding where your grapes come from. DO NOT bring back grape plants from your trips abroad (whether domestic or international). Doing so may result in very strict fines, but more importantly, may bring in diseases and pests that could severely hurt the commercial grape industry. ONLY buy stock from reputable nurseries. If you purchase from sources outside of WA, you must notify the Washington State Department of Agriculture of their arrival, and schedule an inspection. More information on “planting clean” and WA quarantines are found here:
- FAQ’s about Clean Plants – Clean Plant Center – Northwest Grapes
- Certified Nurseries – Planting “Clean” is key to successful grape production in Washington State and beyond.
- Start Clean, Stay Clean – Video on Clean Plants in Washington State
- WA Plant Quarantines – WSDA Information on Plant Quarantines for Washington
- Field Guide To Clean Plants and Quarantines in Washington State – Washington Wine Industry Foundation
- ESPAÑOL –Giua de campo para plantas limpias y cuarentenas en el estado de Washington – Washington Wine Industry Foundation
- Why Clean Plants? – Washington Wine Industry Foundation
- ESPAÑOL– PORQUE PLANTAS “LIMPIAS? – Washington Wine Industry Foundation
- Considerations and Resources for Vineyard Establishment in the Inland Pacific Northwest – #PNW634
- Vinewise: Washington’s Guide to Sustainable Winegrape Production – WAWGG
- Economics of WA Grape Production – WSU Webpage
- Vine to Wine: Successfully Establishing a Vineyard or Winery – WSU #OM41
- WESTERN WA – Growing Wine Grapes in Maritime Western Washington – WSU #EM086e
- ORGANIC – Establishing an Organic Vineyard – WSU Research Report
Vineyard Design Considerations
- Vineyard Design (row orientation, planting density, etc) – eXtension.org / eViticulture.org Webpage
- ORGANIC – WSDA Organic Materials List and Information – This list is subject to change annually; please check current list.
Washington State: Geology and Climate
- AgWeatherNet – The source for Washington State weather data.
- Geologic Map of Washington – A great map that describes the geological features of the state. (link will open a .zip file from the Washington State DNR).
- Western Regional Climate Center – Historical information regarding growing degree days, temperature, precipitation, wind speed and directions for a number of locations in the Western United States.
- Normal Climate Maps for United States – Use this site to get frost/freeze data for the past 30 years, precipitation data, and more through the NOAA.
- 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Maps – Determine the 30-year average absolute minimum temperatures for a particular area. Is your site appropriate for winter-tender vines?
- Web Soil Survey: Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) has a web soil survey with interactive and searchable maps.
- Understanding Soil Surveys – NRCS webpage on the ins-and-outs of reading and understanding soil survey maps.
- Soil Surveys by County: Washington – NRCS webpage with archived information on county soil surveys.
Soil Testing and Remediation
- See “Soils and Nutrition” for more information
Variety and Rootstock Selection
Variety selection is dependent on what is best suited for your site and what you can market/sell. Consult potential fruit customers and winemakers before heavily investing in large plantings.
- Clean Plant Center Northwest Grapes – Check out the current availability of different varieties in the Washington State Grape Foundation Block.
- National Grape Registry – A great database out of California of different grape varieties and clones available in the USA.
- Grape Genetic Testing and Identification – A service provided by the Foundation Plant Service out of UC-Davis that can determine the variety/cultivar of an unknown grapevine. Clonal identification is currently not available.
- Vitis International Variety Catalog – A searchable database of different varieties, and their various synonyms.
- WESTERN WA – Growing Winegrapes in Maritime Western Washington – WSU #EM068e
- WESTERN WA – Western Washington Wine Grape Variety Trials (2000-2008) – WSU Mt. Vernon Trial Reports
- WESTERN WA – Trellis and Planting Stock Considerations for an Organic Vineyard – WSU-NWREC
- Cool Climate Wine Grape Selections – Cornell University
- Northern Grapes Project – A joint venture designed to aid in viticulture production of cold-hardy (winter low temperatures) varieties.
- Rootstock Selection – OSU #EM8882 – Rootstocks are recommended for western Washington, due to general lower soil pH and cooler, shorter seasons. Conditions in western Oregon are similar to Western Washington.
- Rootstock Selection – Pages 12-15 in: Wine Grape Varieties in California. University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources Publication
Trellis Design and Vine Training
- Training and Trellising Grapes – WSU #EB0637
- Installing a Vineyard Trellis – Iowa State University
- Trellis Selection and Canopy Management – Pages 16-21 in: Wine Grape Varieties in California. University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources Publication
- ORGANIC – Trellis and Planting Stock Considerations for an Organic Vineyard – WSU-NWREC
Take individual programs from the Viticulture Certificate Course, and custom-build your knowledge base. Choose from courses on General Grape Production, Economics, Irrigation, Disease and Insect Management, and Soils and Nutrition.
Washington Tilth Association is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to provide support for and promotion of biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture.
WSDA Organic Food Program – Provides information on the procedures of becoming certified organic, and is a certifying agency for growers.
USDA National Organic Program – The NOP develops and administers national production, handling, and labeling standards for organic agricultural products.
Planting within an existing AVA has many marketing advantages.
Need a Consultant?
WAWGG, an industry organization in Washington, has a list of private consultants that can help you with the details of vineyard establishment. Click here and scroll halfway through the page.