Correctly spacing grape vines will allow the plants to receive sufficient air, sun and water. Grape vines that are placed too close together will compete for these resources, which may result in poor quality fruit. If they are spaced too far apart, grape vines may be susceptible to excess sun and wind.
Planting New Grapevines
There are two spacing requirements to take into account. First of all, the distance required between the individual grape vines. Secondly, don't forget to account for the space between the rows. If you are planting grape vines for household use, you probably only have to worry about correctly spacing each grape vine. You will need to create a support structure for the vines to grow on. In a home garden, grape vines can be planted a minimum of 6 inches away from walls, with at least 3 feet of space between each grape vine. Aggressive pruning will allow sufficient sun to reach the grapes as they develop and produce a better fruit. You can also plant grape vines in larger intervals, up to 8 feet apart, depending on the size of your garden.
The scenario is a bit different in vineyards. Vineyard owners may use tractors or other mechanized equipment to harvest grapes, and need to be able to move freely between rows. Rows spacing varies from 6 to 12 feet, depending on the size of the machinery. If grape vine care and harvesting is done entirely by hand, rows can be as little as 3 feet apart from each other. Grape vine spacing affects the flavor of the grape, and eventually the wine it may become. Vineyards that are destined for wine making typically space grape vines between six and eight feet apart. The space helps avoid neighboring vines from overshadowing each other and blocking out the sun. Grape vine cultivators also study how much wind their vineyard is exposed to. They may choose to space grape vines and rows closer together than in areas that do not receive much wind. A vineyard that is a full acre can sustain a maximum of over four thousand grape vines, or as few as three hundred.