The course includes ten lessons covering the history of viticulture, the current state of
the industry, wine and table grapes, dried grapes, cultural practices
(trellising, soils, planting, pruning, irrigation, pests &
diseases); vineyard design, improving quality, harvest & post
harvest procedures, wine making, marketing and much much more.
To develop an ability to select and cultivate appropriate varieties of
grapes in different situations, and provide the knowledge to make
informed decisions about the management of a vineyard
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the
school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any
relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading. There
are ten lessons as follows:
1. Introduction Describe the nature and scope of the Viticulture industry both locally and world wide.
Includes: global viticulture; major wine growing areas around the world;
the grape; genera and species; root stocks; classification of grape
varieties; table grapes; wine grapes; dried fruit; juice grapes; canned
2. Climate & Soils: Identify suitable climate and soil conditions for vineyard site establishment
Includes: temperature; temperature calculations; latitude-temperature
index and degree days; sunlight; rainfall; soil; soil types and wine
regions; understanding soils; texture; characteristics; soil structure;
chemical characteristics of soils including pH and nutrient levels;
understanding plant nutrition; soil water content; simple soil tests;
naming the soil; problems with soil; erosion; salinity; structural
decline; soil acidification; chemical residues.
3. Selecting Grape Varieties: Select and evaluate appropriate grape varieties for different situations.
Includes: grape types; selection considerations; what to plant; matching
the variety with the site; varietal characteristics; selecting wine
grapes; yield; varieties; chenin blanc; chardonnay; semillion; muscat
ottonel; muscadelle; gewurztraminer; cabernet sauvignon; carignan; vitis
rotundifolia; wine grapes; raisin grapes; juice grapes, the importance
of rootstocks; purchasing plants; phylloxera.
4. Vineyard Establishment: Develop a procedure to establish a vineyard.
Includes: establishing a new vineyard, vineyard planning; site planning;
vineyard layout; site preparation; planting the vines, vine spacing;
shelter belts; crop infrastructure; equipment.
5. Grapevine Culture Part A (Training & Pruning): Specify the
techniques used in the culture of grape vines (Training & Pruning
Includes: pruning and training vines, shoot spacing; bud numbers; vine
spacing; how much to prune; machine pruning; summer pruning; combination
pruning; pruning sultana vines; trellising; construction; guyot system;
geneva double curtain system; head training, cordoning; kniffen
systems; umbrella kniffen system; pergola training system.
6. Grapevine Culture Part B (Weeds, Pests & Diseases): Specify the
techniques used in the culture of grape vines (Weed, Pest & Disease
Includes: weeds, pest and disease control, weeds in vineyeards;
controlling weeds; safety procedures when using agricultural chemicals;
laws and guidelines; types of chemicals (14); weed management in
vineyards; weed management before planting; weed management in new
vineyards; weed management in established vineyards; integrated pest
management; pest control in vineyards; grape berry moth; grape mealy
bug; grape leaf folder; grapevine rust mite; grape blossom midge; flea
beetles; birds; large animals; disease control in vineyards; fungal
diseases; rots; mildew; eutypa dieback; bacterial diseases; viruses;
organic culture of grapes; organic pest and disease control; companion
plants; environmental problems including air, water, damage, frost,
hail, wind and shade; water management; runoff; water saving; grape
clones and varieties.
7. Grapevine Culture Part C (Irrigation & Feeding): Specify the
techniques used in the culture of grape vines (Irrigation &
Includes: irrigating and feeding grapes; excessive irrigation; seasonal
effects of irrigation; drip irrigation; monitoring and timing;
feasibility of irrigation; design considerations; soil and water;
measuring water available to plants, calculating permanent wilting
point, calculating field capacity of a vineyard; available moisture
range; measuring air filled porosity; tensiometer; estimating water;
rate of growth; climate; soil conditions; drainage in vineyards;
improving subsoil and surface drainage; subsurface drainage; soil
fertility; choice of fertilizer; timing of application; fertigation.
8. Improving Grape Quality: Explain different ways to ensure or improve grape quality.
Includes: plant stock, crop management; post harvest impact on quality;
improving flower and fruit set; second set; girdling; berry thinning.
9. Harvesting & Selling : Specify procedure for harvest and
post-harvest treatment and formulate market strategy for vineyard
Includes: harvesting; testing for ripeness; influence of weather;
harvesting techniques; selling grapes; vineyard resume; selling grapes;
contracts; selling online; marketing; developing a marketing plan;
advertising; market research; legalities.
10 .Wine: Explain the basic principles of wine making.
Includes: basic production; overview of wine making process; basic
production principles; fermentation; making white wine, making red wine;
- Choose an appropriate site for a vineyard.
- Simple Soil tests
- Measuring ph
- Water content of soil.
- Choose appropriate grape varieties for different situations.
- Develop criteria to be considered when selecting which grape varieties to grow.
- Devise a procedure to establish a vineyard.
- Specify the techniques used in the culture of grape vines.
- Specify a procedure for harvest and post-harvest treatment of grapes.
- Formulate marketing strategies for vineyard products.
- Explain the basic principles of wine making.