Site Suitability

When deciding where to establish a vineyard, you will need to consider multiple factors for production, including climate, elevation and suitable grape varieties.

The maps below are provided to help in decision making and are not recommendations for or against any site or area. Because they are not all-inclusive in terms of conditions at the particular site, they should not replace an on-site evaluation which may reveal other potential positive or negative aspects. These maps were generated by John Boyer, a Virginia Tech geographer. For an explanation of factors to consider in site selection read Dr. Tony Wolf's Virginia Tech publication Site Selection for Commercial Vineyards. Also see the following climate and weather resources for help planning your vineyard, maintenance programs and harvest:

 

  • NC Cooperative Extension Service provides Weather Information for Horticulture. These leaflets cover frost protection, climate considerations, growing season, solar radiation and wind.
  • Agricultural Weather Information Service, Inc. (AWIS) charges a fee ($50.00 per month, 3 month minimum, $10.00 set-up fee) to log onto their site for information. For example, one of the reports they offer is a frost/freeze report that predicts 60 hours in advance. For each hour they predict dry bulb temperature, dew point, wet bulb temperature, wind speed, wind direction, cloud cover, inversion layer strength, and dew and/or frost. This includes everything you would need to know for irrigation/wind machine start-up. The referenced page lets you look at samples of all of the various reports.

Site Suitability

Zone 1

 

 

 

 

 

Vinifera

 

 

Hybrid

 

 

American Varieties

 

 

Most Desirable Site

 

 

None

 

 

None

 

 

possibly Niagra, Norton, Most Muscadine Grapes: Carlos, Magnolia, Noble, Sterling, Fry, Nesbitt

 

 

Good Site

 

 

None

 

 

None

 

 

Most Muscadine Grapes: Carlos, Magnolia, Noble, Sterling

 

 

Risky Site *

 

 

None

 

 

None

 

 

Carlos, Magnolia, Noble

 

 

 

 

Zone 2

 

 

 

 

 

Vinifera

 

 

Hybrid

 

 

American Varieties

 

 

Most Desirable Site

 

 

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Mataro (Mourvedre), Merlot, Viognier, Tannat, Carmine, Syrah, Petit Manseng

 

 

Chambourcin, Chardonel, Seyval, Vidal Blanc, Rouchaneuf

 

 

Niagara, Norton, Most Muscadine Grapes: Carlos, Magnolia, Noble, Sterling, Fry, Nesbitt,

 

 

Good Site

 

 

Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng, Viognier

 

 

Chambourcin, Chardonel, Seyval, Vidal Blanc

 

 

Most Muscadine Grapes: Carlos, Magnolia, Noble, Sterling

 

 

Risky Site *

 

 

Petit Manseng

 

 

Seyval, Vidal Blanc

 

 

Norton, Niagara

 

 

 

Zone 3

 

 

 

 

 

Vinifera

 

 

Hybrid

 

 

American Varieties

 

 

Most Desirable Site

 

 

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Petit Manseng, Malvasia Bianca, Muscat Ottonel, Carmine, Syrah

 

 

Chambourcin, Chardonel, Seyval, Traminette, Vidal Blanc, Rouchaneuf

 

 

Niagara Norton

 

 

Good Site

 

 

Cabernet Franc, Malvasia Bianca, Muscat Ottonel, Riesling, Petit Manseng, Viognier

 

 

Chambourcin, Chardonel, Seyval, Traminette, Vidal Blanc

 

 

Niagara Norton

 

 

Risky Site *

 

 

Malvasia Bianca Muscat Ottonel, Petit Manseng

 

 

Seyval, Traminette

 

 

Niagara

 

 

 

Zone 4

 

 

Challenging but some varieties of vinifera, hybrids, and Katuah muscadines grow in the mountain region.

 

 

 

 

 

Day Night Site Suitability
 
Elevation Site Suitability
 
Grow Seas Site Suitability
 
Pierces Site Suitability
 
Precipitation Site Suitability
 
Slope Site Suitability
 
Winter Site Suitability
 
Zero Site Suitability

 

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