Grapes provide fruit for jams and jellies, as well as pies and pastries. Certain types of grapes are grown solely for producing wine. These grapes vary in size, color and flavor. Wineries purchase or grow large amounts of grapes to make into wine for commercial productions. Many individual gardeners grow grapes for hobby purposes. You can successfully plant grapes in your yard or garden for wine making.
Test your planting site to determine the soil compositions. Soil tests provide accurate information regarding nutrients present, or lacking, in your garden soil. Purchase a soil test kit from your university extension office or local garden store. Perform the test according to the included instructions.
Select grape cultivars for planting in your vineyard. You'll want varieties suitable for your particular climate. Select cool-climate varieties, such as White Riesling and Pinot Noir for cool climates that require hardy specimens. Choose Merlot and Chardonnay grapes for planting in warm locations, such as Texas and Southern California.
Prepare the soil for planting your wine grapes. Choose a location that provides good drainage near the top of a slope. Avoid low areas that create cold air pockets. Find a sunny place for your vineyard. Bright sunlight is necessary for healthy grape vines. Grapes require rich, well-drained soil for optimum growth and fruit production. Add any missing nutrients indicated on the results of your soil test. Loosen the soil and remove all weeds and prior vegetation from the area.
Plant your wine grapes in rows running north to south, allowing 6 feet between plants within rows and 8 feet between each row. Place 8-foot-long metal posts into the ground at each end of your rows to provide support for your grape trellis. Attach strong, mesh wire to form a trellis for your grape vines to adhere to. Stretch the wire to provide a taut, strong support for each of your rows. Dig generous holes at 6-foot intervals along the supporting trellis. Place each root ball into a hole and replace soil around roots, gently tamping down to remove air pockets.
Tie the strongest grape shoot on each vine to the wire trellis. Begin pruning your grape vines after they go dormant. Remove side shoots and damaged sections to encourage strong growth.