vineyard

Introduction

vineyard, land on which cultivation of the grape—known as viticulture—takes place. As many as 40 varieties of grape, Vitis vinifera, are known. The few that grow wild are generally not used; all domesticated varieties require careful cultivation to produce good fruit. While the primary purpose of vineyards throughout history has been the production of grapes for wine, many vines, largely in the New World, are cultivated for eating grapes, grape juice, and dried grapes, or raisins.

Viticulture depends on such factors as sunlight, soil, moisture, wind, and pest and disease control. The best wines result from warm, dry conditions. Grape vines can be transplanted from established vineyards, or propagated from cuttings of new growth with two or three buds. Two thirds of the grape vines in the United States grow in California, mostly in the San Francisco Bay area, supplying the bulk of the grapes for the expansion of the American wine industry since 1950. Washington and New York rank next among the 13 grape-growing states.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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