Over the last half-century, northern California wineries have come to dominate the premium wine grape industry. During the next 50 years, the character of the new vineyard client in northern California will change. Larger valley floor properties are heavily planted. New vineyards are more frequently  installed on hillsides, some of which are rocky and remote. They commonly range in size from 10 to 90 acres. Owners often reside elsewhere. Yet, these smaller projects must also produce premium wine grapes that yield a high price point per bottle.





In the autumn 2000, a small group of professionals primarily involved in vineyard development began meeting to discuss land use, vineyard development and emerging technology issues. As a result of this association, a strategic alliance was formed. Currently, the VDTG is a group of independent professionals and service providers who work cooperatively and collectively to produce a complete, turnkey, vineyard land development product.


The VDTG provides complete vineyard development services and ongoing technical information support for new and existing vineyard operations:

  • topographic mapping & land surveying

  • regulatory and permit assistance

  • land clearing and preparation

  • technology-enhanced vineyard design

  • vineyard installation and full project management

Clients are encouraged to work closely with an experienced multidisciplinary team thereby achieving a personalized, high-quality vineyard product. VDTG delivers a sophisticated, well-documented product designed to attract the premier and most serious wine producers or brokers. If necessary, at or just prior to completion, owners interview and select annual management firms and winemakers. 




Planning & Design


Evaluating  and selecting the vineyard property is a complex undertaking. Surveyors, engineers, geologists, soils scientists, viticulturists and installers all have key roles in the process.


With increasing hillside land use and attendant regulatory concerns, the permitting process for vineyard development has become rigorous and time consuming. Permitting agencies now require proposals  which include land analyses, designs and measurements that are best provided by licensed professionals.




Implementation & Installation


Successful vineyard construction requires integrating the engineered plans with proper implementation. The steps include; earth moving, soil preparation, well drilling, irrigation, trellis installation and planting.

Plant materials must be carefully selected to reflect viticultural and winemaking concerns.  Other factors which drive the process are row orientation, topography and soil conditions.


A well-coordinated team of consultants and technicians is essential to success.




Annual Management Cycle


Modern viticulture combines experienced vineyard management AND applied technology.



Traditional field data collection techniques coupled with real-time ground-based weather stations, electronic probes and aerial imagery form the basic pool of data elements.


GIS software techniques assemble the data. Reports are produced for monitoring the annual growing cycle and for evaluating subsequent annual farming methods.




Extended Forecasting  & Production Planning


Annual analyses of vineyard and image data  provide opportunities for developing management tools and predictive models. GIS software can provide the base summaries for such forecasting activities.







3-D Models



GIS technology can be used to model raw terrain, vineyards, caves, subsurface infrastructure and construction sites for optimum design and planning.



All content copyright 2002 VDTG   All rights reserved.