How to Plant Wine Grapes in Oregon


The Willamette Valley of Oregon is similar in longitude and latitude to Burgundy, France. The region has grown grapes for wine since the early 1800s when settlers first arrived. The region offers mild winters with abundant rainfall, and its summers tend to be dry with warm weather. The state flourishes in the commercial wine industry around the world, and many home gardeners also desire growing a small plot of grapes for the ever increasingly popular pastime of home wine making. Grape vines in the region begin producing grapes at the age of five or six, according to the Oregon State University.

Step 1

Choose a location that offers abundant sunlight. An area that offers frost protection is ideal. South facing slopes are a favored grape planting location in Oregon because they afford ample sunlight with frost protection. Young grape plants are planted in the spring.

Step 2

Plant the grape vines in rows that flow from the north to the south. This helps the leaves of the grape plants receive sufficient sunlight. Sunlight is extremely important to ensure that the grape vines produce a large crop of wine grapes.

Step 3

Choose a soil location that offers adequate drainage. The grape vines do not tolerate wet roots well. The silty clay loam soil of the Oregon hillsides is ideal for grape vines. Space each row of grapes between six and eight feet apart, depending on which cultivar is being planted. Space each individual plant six to seven feet apart.

Step 4

Place newly bought grape plants into a bucket of lukewarm water. The roots should not be allowed to dry out until they are planted. Trim away any broken or diseased roots of the bare root grape plants prior to planting.

Step 5

Dig a hole that is twice as large as the grape plant's root system. Lay the grape plant into the hole, and smooth its root system out. Begin to add soil to the hole. Firm the soil down as planting to remove any air pockets.

Step 6

Water the grape plants thoroughly. Allow the water to slowly flow around the grape plant's base to ensure that it receives ample water.

Step 7

Weed around the young grape plants regularly to remove any weed growth. Weeds rob the young plants of nutrients and water. Never cultivate deeper then one inch into the soil surface because grape plants grow shallow roots that can be easily damaged by deep cultivation.

Step 8

Fertilize the newly planted grape vine plant with 10-20-20 fertilizer. Apply 10 oz. per vine, and water thoroughly until absorbed.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Shovel
  • 10-20-20 fertilizer


  • Oregon State University: Growing Grapes in Oregon
  • Workforce Quality Info: Growing a Vintage: Oregon's Wine & Grape Industry
  • Oregon Vineyard Land: Growing Grapes In The Willamette Valley
  • Oregon Wine: Willamette Valley

Who Can Help

  • Pinot Noir Land
Keywords: oregon wine grapes, oregon wine production, growing grapes oregon

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.