Technique

Controlling Grapevine Vigor: Tips from the Pros

One of the biggest challenges to growing grapes — commercially or recreationally — is controlling vine growth, which is known as vigor. If the vines are too productive, or not productive enough, the grapes (and resulting wines) will suffer. Two grape growing experts share some vigor advice for finding a happy medium in your backyard. Gabriel Balint, Ph.D Research & Extension Viticulture/Enology Program, Oregon Wine Research Institute, So. Oregon Research & Extension Center, Central Point, Oregon. After receiving bachelor and masters degrees in horticulture and crop protection in Europe, Gabriel pursued a Ph.D degree in viticulture and oenology from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. To determine vigor in your own potential vineyard, first think about what you want to plant. Many people make mistakes in choosing the right variety for a specific location. They plant what they like to drink and not what variety would perform the best at that location. Other questions you need to ask yourself are: How fertile is the soil? Is there a permanent source of water? Where is the property is located (slope, orientation,