The soil supports the root structure of the vine and influences the drainage levels and amount of minerals and nutrients that the vine is exposed to. The ideal soil condition for a vine is a layer of thin topsoil and subsoil that sufficiently retains water but also has good drainage so that the roots do not become overly saturated. The ability of the soil to retain heat and/or reflect it back up to the vine is also an important consideration that affects the ripening of the grapes.
Annual Cycle of a Vineyard
The annual cycle of a vineyard includes pruning, cutting, trellising maintenance, anchoring, budburst, ploughing down, de-budding, suckering, flowering, first trimming, first leaf thinning, green harvesting, 2 leaf thinning, checking maturity, harvests, vinification, ploughing back, blending before ageing, and pruning.
Grape Breeding Procedures
Even without an understanding of grapevines, floral biology, and genetics, early farmers had the ability to select the best vines and plant new vineyards with vines propagated from their best selections. Today, grapevine breeding is based on hybridization schemes designed to develop a single elite individual vine combining the best traits of carefully chosen parents. The process involves controlling pollination and choosing parent varieties based on desired traits in the progeny.