Trellis vine cultivation

When we cultivate our vine in the traditional way, over time some complications begin such as greater control of pruning or growth, greater harvesting work or greater supervisory control against pests or diseases. Depending on how we want to plan our cultivation, we can look for some valid methods to improve the development of our vine. This is the so-called trellis culture . Let’s see what it’s about.


The current objective of any producer is to obtain a good harvest with the lowest economic costs. That is the current premise on which 21st century agriculture works. Starting from this rule assumed in the civilized world, since the second half of the 20th century a new method has been sought that does not affect the quality of the harvest in the cultivation of the vine and that entails benefits in terms of labor costs. , such as pruning, treatment of pests and diseases, ease of collection of the product, etc. After a long study of varieties and forms, a method known as trellis was arrived at  in which it was possible to “extend” the branches of the vine in such a way that they could only grow in one direction, as if it were in 2 dimensions instead of 3 .


The term espalier refers to supports that form a structure in the form of bars or wires. This system has its application in many areas, such as sports. But in our case, when talking about agriculture, it consists of a structure formed by poles and wires on which the crop is arranged and takes them as a guide in its growth. On the trunk of the strain, two branches grow in the direction of the wire (perpendicular to the growth of the strain).

It would go something like this (albeit a bit of a stretch):


After long years of use of this technique, endorsed by numerous scientists and live tests, as well as the use by the largest grape producing countries, the following advantages have been established:

  • Ease of application of phytosanitary treatments in the case of prevention and treatment of pests and diseases.
  • It is a growth guide as the branches of the vine are supported by the wires
  • It facilitates most of the vine cultivation maintenance operations.
  • Greater uniformity is achieved in the grape bunches.
  • By having greater aeration and solar exposure, an increase in the photosynthetic rate is achieved.
  • Like the previous point, the greater aeration allows the reduction of fungal diseases.
  • An economic saving is obtained in the collection.
  • A greater number of plants per surface is achieved.

All these advantages translate into a 25% increase in the economic performance  of the farm, 42% less economic cost of labor, and a 200% improvement in the speed of vine cultivation maintenance.


The main structure of our trellis is made up of metal, wooden, concrete poles, etc. The most widely used are galvanized pipes, which tend to be around 40-50 mm in diameter for header posts and 30-40 mm for intermediate posts. As a maximum length, although it is variable, it is recommended not to exceed 50 meters, because it can put too much stress on the header posts, in which case it is solved with a larger foundation and a larger diameter of the metal structure.

The distance in which we put each post varies depending on the variety (due to the size each vine occupies), the planting density, the pruning system or the intensity of the winds (the latter is very important), but they are usually between the 5 and 10 meters.

How high should the posts be?

They are usually between 1.70 and 2 meters. It is recommended that they are closer to 1.7 m than 2 m for collection reasons. It is much more comfortable to pick grapes at eye level than having to constantly raise your hand to reach the bunches located almost 2 meters away.

Distance between streets?

The distance between rows that will be in our trellis vine cultivation will be determined by the planting density or by our objective of wanting to mechanize the harvesting or the application of treatments. In this case we need a distance between streets of 3 meters on average, but if we are not going to carry out the collection by mechanical means with a distance of 1.5 meters it is worth it.

Distance between vines?

Depending on the variety of vine and the density of plantation that we want to obtain, we can assume distances between vines that go from 0.9 meters to 2 meters . If the variety is very vigorous and grows quickly, we will need greater distances than if we have a slower-growing variety of vine or that acquires smaller sizes.

How is the vine tied to the wires?

Different materials and systems can be used to tie the vine to the trellis wires, whether they are natural materials such as raffia or synthetic materials such as plastics, ribbons, thread, hooks, fine wire, etc. What we have to rigorously avoid are strong knots that produce strangulation of sap in our vine, and we also have to consider that the branches grow in thickness, so we must leave space between the knot and the branches.


Galvanized wire is normally used , and it must be considered that it is thick enough to withstand the tension. The 3 millimeter is sufficient. Regarding the height on which the wires are arranged, the first will be located between 40 and 50 centimeters from the ground , the second at 0.90 meters, the third at 1.30 meters… and so on. Ideally, first place the wire 40-50 centimeters from the ground and as the vine grows, arrange the second level of wire, and so on, until it reaches 1.70 meters or 2 meters in height.

That’s all! Although we have missed something very important and that is to talk about pruning in the cultivation of the vine. What happens is so interesting that we will have to do it in a new article. Do not forget to subscribe or follow us on social networks to know when we will publish it! 😉

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