Growing Grapevines


Has anyone begun looking into growing Grapevines in these environments?

Our company would be very interested in partnering with anyone interested to seeing what we could achieve.

Not sure what is already out there, if the vines still take 2-3 years to mature, how large a facility would be necessary etc.

Anyone have any thoughts?


I’d be interested in talking with you further.

What are you specifically trying to accomplish? Are you interested in using hydroponics or just controlled environments?

There’s a researcher locally who works with perennial grapevines and we’ve talked about an aeroponic growth chamber to study various rootstocks. Honestly, the project got put on hold due to lack of sufficient funding.


I’m actually interested in both hydroponics, aeroponics and controlled environments.

Given how grapevines age and the size they can grow to, can you even grow a grapevines long term in this type of environment?

I was lead here after watching the piece on 60 minutes recently. Our company retails wine, and also produces wine for our controlled brands. But I am mostly interested in whether or not, in a controlled environment, can you create a growing environment not only similar to a certain region geographically, but can your environment mimic the vintage characteristics from any given year (x amount of rainfall, sunshine, temps etc.)

Some of the soil characteristics seem to transfer into the grape / wine flavor. Limestone rich soils produce a type of wine different than one from slate. Can these types of characteristics be created? Could, in a controlled environment, you produce grapevines that have the same characteristics as ones grown in blue clay?

Lots of questions :slight_smile: Not sure how much work has been done on the answers. Would be interested in looking to work with people who are either already working on these problems or are interested in them.


Maybe. Howard Resh’s book, “Hydroponic Food Production”, makes a couple brief mentions of growing hydroponic grapes. The bibliography includes an article, “Hydroponic culture of grapes in the tropics” by J.M. Barrow in the 1980 Proceedings of the 5th International Congress on Soilless Culture. Maybe you could track that down.

Other than the link Peter posted above, I haven’t heard anybody on this forum talk about growing hydroponic grapes. Caleb and his team have mentioned and posted pictures of growing broccoli, leafy greens, basil, tomatoes, flowers, and cotton. They’re apparently also working on a new growth chamber for growing hazelnut trees.

OpenAg doesn’t operate like a typical academic research project with lots of publications. There’s not much external visibility into the details of Caleb’s food server projects at MIT beyond slides in his talks and pictures that he posts on instagram and twitter. Tim Savas’s personal website also has some video and written explanations (see this thread: Floating Platforms for FoodServers).


There is absolutely no reason why IN THEORY this couldn’t be done. The hard part is finding use cases that justify the R&D required to prove the feasibility. There is nothing that can’t be recreated by the substrate, nutrient, microbial, the question becomes defining what the true characteristics are of the environment you are trying to recreate.

If you have a very specific example of a vintage you’d like to reproduce and can find the relevant documentation necessary (soil samples, agronomic practices in place, regional weather) then I’d be interested in taking a stab at how I would try to recreate that.

This talk by Caleb does a good job explaining all the potential influencing factors (skip to like 9 minutes if you’ve seen the TED talk) and what data they’re collecting at MIT:


@mhartley I got curious about this and did a bit of googling. I didn’t find a lot besides the grapevine magazine article that Peter already linked to. The exceptions were a couple things about about Galway Rock Vineyard and Winery and some academic papers:


How would we go about doing that? Would we be able to produce enough grapes to make sample wine?

I know to make a full barrel we’d need nearly half an acres worth of grapevines


How many grapevines would you plant on half an acre?

What is a baseline harvest (weight) of grapes from a single grapevine?

Is the minimum “sample” size a full barrel?

If you can provide me with these answers I’ll do my best to calculate what I think it would take. I’d also need to know though what you’re trying to optimize for. Previously, you gave the example of blue clay, that’s very different than trying to artificially induce drought responses or maniuplating the temperature to influence BRIX.