Vine density

I’ve been having a close look recently at vine density.  From the simple and incorrect dogma that denser plantings are better (in fact, this holds it would seem only in some circumstances), it is fascinating to read the various studies.  

At its simplest, for any given area of land, vine density refers to how many vines are planted in that area.  However, the actual position is more complex than this and requires consideration of the size of the “intra row” space between vines within a row and the “inter row” spacing of vines between rows.  Variation of density is important because it influences other vine growth variables (vine growth itself is a function of soil, rootstock, scion, trellis, shoot density and vine density) such as shoot density and shading.  The reasons for variation in vine density are various, including cultural, historical factors and legal requirements in some places, and it can impact quality, yields and costs.  

In Australia, vine densities vary but historically have been lower than the “old world” for various reasons.  But generalisations are just that, and for the contrary, this is a photo I took a few years ago of very close planted vineyards outside of Geelong at Bannockburn.  It’s funny how even though only a few years ago, I have so many more questions looking at a simple picture than I ever did standing in the vineyard at the time.

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