Top positive review
One person found this helpful
A good start for a beginner, but wider reading and actual experience needed for success
on 1 October 2017
Excellent beginners book for growing grape vines. Having read a lot on the subject on the internet, I would say this book lacks a lot of explanation or other options, but for a beginner I guess this is perfect because he narrows down on the best methods that have worked for him in a UK climate. So if you want to start growing vines asap, this is a quick and simple guide.
The most important principle of terroir is however little covered in this or any other text I've come across. Presumably there are a lot of texts in French on the subject. Meaning that basically, the soil is everything. Understanding your landscape before you plant will more likely result in success. You can grow grapes in any soil very easily. The question is, whether those grapes are what you want in terms of flavour, acidity, sugar levels etc, and this is largely dependent on the soil. The key principle most authors don't emphasize enough is that their experience is entirely unique to their land. In other words, what works for them, doesn't necessarily work for someone else, and this is why you get so many seemingly conflicting opinions on how to grow grapes. My advice would be to read around the subject, including books like this, so get a taste of the different opinions and methods employed. Speak to local winemakers (i.e. people growing them in similar soils in back gardens and allotments close to your land) for advice. Speak to British vineyards, and importers of grapevines. This will give you an overall picture and several options. Instead of getting confused will all the information, come up with several options of vine training styles, vine spacing, soil amendments, and vine varieties and setup an experiment by planting a few of each. Then over a period of 2-3 years, you will see which ones grow best in your soil. Then remove the less successful ones and replace with those that seem to do well. Growing vines as a hobby is a lot to take on if you want good wine. If you just want any old variable plonk, just stick a cutting in the ground and let it go.