Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Plant Pinot Noir Grape Vines

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

Pinot noir is one of the oldest types of grapes in existence. They have been grown and made into wine since the Ancient Roman times, when they were known as Helvenacia Minor. Pinot Noir is grown in dozens of countries including Canada, Brazil, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland and the United States. This grape variety is known as being difficult, but you can successfully grow them in your garden by following certain guidelines.

Choose a planting location in the spring. Pinot noir grape vines thrive in full sun with less heat. They need this type of weather for 160 to 185 days to grow enough to bear fruit.

Combine the local soil with small stones or gravel to improve drainage. Mix the two together with a garden hoe or metal rake. Pinot noir grape vines grow best in well-draining, porous soil.

Cut dying or damaged roots off to prepare the grape vines. Remove weak stems and those that compete with the main stem.

Dig holes that are 6 to 18 feet apart. Make them just large enough for the stems or canes. Grapes prefer shallow holes, so the roots can grow close to the soil surface. Make the holes slightly deeper than necessary, then fill them up halfway with the potting soil mix.

Center the pinot noir grape vines in the holes. Gently spread out the roots to encourage their growth. Cover them with soil and tamp it down lightly to eliminate air pockets. Water thoroughly.

Prune the grape vines to promote new growth. Cut the canes back, leaving two strong buds in place on every stem. This is where new stems will grow.


Things You Will Need

  • Grape vines
  • Gravel or small stones
  • Potting soil
  • Shovel
  • Hoe or rake
  • Water
  • Pruning shears


  • Wear gloves when planting pinot noir grape vines.


  • Beware of frosty temperatures! Grape vines are highly susceptible to damage and death when the temperature reaches freezing.

About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.