Introduction

Grapes are among the first fruit species to be domesticated and today are the world’s most economically important fresh fruit crop used to make a variety of fresh, dried and processed products such as wine. It has been said that “the secret to great wine starts in the vineyard,” and “you can make poor-quality wine out of high-quality grapes, but you cannot expect to make great wine from poor-quality grapes.” Growing high-quality grapes for premium wine requires the grower to fully understand the principles of viticulture. The goal of the Grape Grower’s Handbook is to provide the grower with a broad spectrum of expertise and knowledge in growing grapes for wine production in commercial vineyards. Some books offer a strong academic perspective with little practical application on growing grapes for wine production, others books offer a broad overview on growing grapes but provide little detail while most books narrowly focus only on more traditional topics of grape growing. Unlike most books on growing grapes for wine production the Grape Grower's Handbook provides a very comprehensive, detailed discussion of all pertinent topics to growing grapes written in a clear, concise, and easy to understand manner. Some of the topics discussed but not limited to include grapevine growth, varieties, rootstocks, climate requirements, training and pruning, canopy management, development and nutrition, water and soil management, pests and diseases, pesticide application, frost protection, winter protection of grapevines, cover crops, and pre-harvest operations. The information in this easy-to-use guide is distilled from a variety of sources and has the added value of numerous citations to more in-depth discussion on many topics. The book is thoughtfully organized presenting a seamless flow of topics within chapters making it easy to find specific information that interests the reader. No one concerned with the growing of grapes for wine production can afford to be without this book.