In my last blog I talked about the recent vineyard expansion of 120 acres to offer more exciting opportunities for private vineyard estate ownership. I covered clearing the land and leveling it to map out the shape of the winery. Chief Agronomist, Francisco Evangelista, informed me that the next step is to plow the rows and install the trellis system.
Each row in a vineyard needs to be plowed. The purpose of plowing is to ensure a productive life for the vines and roots. Using an attachment to a tractor ensures even rows and the strength of the machine breaks up any compact layers or stone that could impede the growth of the vines’ roots. This also makes it easier to install posts for the trellis system.
The trellis system is the most familiar sight on a vineyard. Each one of the seemingly endless rows of posts, wires and vines needs to be placed by hand. The recent expansion includes 40,000 posts and 1,125 miles of wire.
On average there are 330 posts per acre. The posts are 8 feet long and need to be 2 feet into the ground. They are made from eucalyptus, which is an extremely strong wood found 1,240 miles north of Mendoza in the Litoral Region of Argentina. Workers have to drill 3 holes in each post. It takes 5 people 2 days to drill the holes in the posts and install the wires for 1 acre.
There are 2 types of wires to go into the three holes. The top wire is called the structural wire and the bottom wire is called the fruit wire. Both of them are very strong. They work to keep the entire trellis structure stable. The middle wire is called the canopy or training wire and it’s not as thick as the top and bottom wires. The last step is to install the irrigation and plant the vines. Come back for the dramatic conclusion to vineyard expansion.