Row spacing and trellis systems in Germany

While traveling in Germany last year, I took quite a few photos of vineyards and the way vines were grown there. While visiting the Ahr, Rhine, Mosel and Saar I notices that row spacing and trellising could showed a wide variety of different spaces and systems.

This slope on the Ahr shows “planting with the slope” and planting “parallel to the slope”, and also the width between rows shows variations.

Here (photo above from the Ahr) sticks have been put between the individual vines in order to make it easier to move in the vineyards and to prevent stones and earth to be washed down the rows. Every vine has its own individual post and no wires are required. One finds this system also along the Mosel and the Saar.

Individual vines and the post after pruning (Saar)

After pruning, two canes are bound to the post on the individual post system. I wonder if spur pruning can be applied to it too?

Usually movable fruit wires, as we have them in Australia (VSP = vertical shoot positioning), are not a feature of these trellis systems. This is not surprising. On the steep slopes of the Mosel, Ahr and Rhine rivers moving fruit wires would be suicidal.

In my own vineyard in Glenburn, we use a simple VSP-trellis system. The move of the fruit wires is usually not a difficult job, especially along the gentle slopes as we have them. However, when the rows are long, the wire gets heavier and heavier the longer the day lasts.

Three fixed wires on vines in Olewig, Trier/Mosel

One finds also more and more metal posts, here also with three wires (Olewig)

In some of the locations, even if they are steep, caterpillar tractors are used to work the land. These tractors are small but still need narrow rows between the vines in order to operate.

Below, two rows have been planted close to each other (and no vehicle can work between them), but the next rows a planted at a wider distance so that the caterpillar tractor can be used.

Even cabbage is grown between the rows (Olewig/Trier, Mosel)

In my blog entry titled “Along the Mosel River”, of September 12th, 2007 I showed some of the elevators used on steep slopes to carry material up and down the vineyard. Have a look and check it out; it’s an interesting system, one can observe on many steep vineyard slopes on the Mosel.


5 Responses to Row spacing and trellis systems in Germany

  1. Pieter van der Meer says:

    Hello Rainer

    I enjoyed reading your blog on row spacing and trellis systems in Germany. I am a hobby Riesling grower and enthusiast and am currently doing some research on German viticulture techniques for Riesling and wonder if you are aware of any good english language resources on this topic?

    I am currently living near Niagara Canada but have spent 4 years working in Cambodia (and still travel there regularly) and if you want an interesting vineyard experience I would recommend you visit Cambodia’s only vineyard near Battambang.


  2. Denise Lennard says:

    Hi there, just found your great pictures, with regard to the individual post system picture (Saar) what pruning method have they used? must be especially hard coping with those slopes.

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  4. M. S. Mir says:

    Row to row spacing and plant to plant spacings and height of system would have been of great help.

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