Trellis Systems

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

trellis systems, support structures for the vine framework required for a given training system. Normally these are man made, although vines are still occasionally trained to trees. The trellis system in its simplest form consists of a stake driven beside a vine to which the vine trunk or shoots are tied. Nowadays wires are used to support vines and foliage, as posts are installed at intervals along the row.

There are several designs of end assemblies but they are all firmly anchored in the ground so as to support the strain in the wire due to the weight of the crop, the vines, and any wind stresses. At intervals along the row are intermediate posts, which also help carry the vine weight. In a well-constructed trellis system, the wires should be strained so tight that the wire does not sag, and this in turn facilitates mechanization. Details of some common trellis systems and end assemblies are given by Smart and Robinson. Vineyard posts are made from wood, concrete, plastic, steel, stone, or even cane. If made from softwood, vineyard posts must be chemically treated to stop wood-rotting fungi.