Understanding the Vine


A vine is known as Vitis, meaning the grape plants or trailing plant. In the North American English, grapevine is referred to as grape-bearing Vitis species while British English uses the term climber.

There are many different species of vines such as:
Vitis Bourguiniana-  Lenoir
Vitis labrusca– North American grapevines and sometimes used for winemaking.
Vitis riparia– Wild vine of North America, sometimes used in winemaking.
Vitis rotundifolia- Used for jams and wine. Native to United States.
Vitis amurensis– Most important Asian species.

There are more than 300 recognized wine grapes varieties. The fruit of several Vitis species are grown commercially for consumption as fresh grapes and for fermentation into wine. Hybrids are products of a crossing between two or more different Vitis species.

Vine Propagation is the process of artificially or naturally distributing plants.

Techniques used in Propagation include: Cuttings, layering, or grafting to rootstocks

At Messina Hof, we use primarily cuttings. Paul has such a green thumb that he propagates many grapevines each year.

Factors Affecting Grape Growth are Climate: Cooler climates struggle to achieve high enough sugars or flavors. Warmer climates are ideal for achieving flavor and high enough sugars

Soil: Source of nutrients, water, and root signals which effect leaf status and therefore productivity. The root draws the nourishment and water to feed the vines.

Terrior: A terrior is a group of vineyards from the same region, belonging to a specific appellation and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, and grape & wine making culture. The single most impactful element is the wine-making culture of that region.