Soil Preparation

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

soil preparation, the treatment of soil before planting a vineyard, can be an important viticultural operation. Proper attention at this stage can determine the long-term success or otherwise of a vineyard.

Having selected the best possible site (see vineyard site selection, topography, and terroir) and vineyard layout, and assured suitable drainage, the potential vine-grower should in most soils, especially in duplex soils (see soil) and shallow soils over limestone and shale, undertake deep ripping along the paths of the future vine rows. This should be done when the soil is dry enough for compacted layers (see soil compaction) and any hard pans (cemented layers) to be shattered by the ripper. Such treatment opens up the subsoil and facilitates penetration by the vine roots.