In the photo below you can see the tremendous pace at which a grape vine grows within only one month. After this vine reaches three years of age it will start to carry grapes, and after seven years it will reach maturity. With care it can thrive for another 100 years!
All of the vines that we plant at De Grendel are grafted for the purpose of resistance against soil diseases. The average grafted vine cost about R14, and you normally use about 3 300 vines per hectare. We order these vines two years before they are planted from a nursery in Wellington.
After one month of planting the vine will look like the picture on the right. In year two the strongest shoot will grow with the support of a small rope. Here it will be split in two cordon arms. Each year the canes that carry the fruit will grow upwards.
In the third year the vine can carry about 300 grams of grapes per vine and in a further five to seven years it will carry about 3KG per vine. This rate will stay consistent for more or less the rest of its lifetime.