General Information

What is the concept behind renting vines?

Renting vines allows individuals to experience the process of vineyard ownership and winemaking without the long-term commitment. You can select your location, choose vine types, manage growing styles, and enjoy the final product: your personalized wine.

Why is vine rental and winemaking two separate charges?

The laws around growing grapes and making wine are complex. We separate these charge to ease the regulatory burden for both you and our vineyards. Trust us, it’s just easier this way.

Which vineyards are available for vine rental?
  • Napa Valley, CA – Calistoga
  • Napa Valley, CA – Napa Valley
  • Sonoma, CA – Alexander Valley
  • Sonoma, CA – Dry Creek Valley
  • Paso Robles, CA – Estrella
  • Paso Robles, CA – Geneseo
  • Lodi, CA – Sloughhouse
I'm not 21 years old. Can I rent vines?

No, we have a strict 21+ only age policy to use our app, website, and services. ID verification will be required to participate in any vineyard service or activity.

Are there any events or special tasting sessions for vine renters?

Yes, we periodically host special events and tasting sessions for our vine renters. These events provide a unique opportunity to taste wines, learn from winemakers, and meet other vine renters. Notifications about upcoming events will be sent through the app and via email.

Selecting your Vines

What types of vines are available for rental?

We offer a wide variety of vines across several prestigious vineyards in California. Here are the vine types available at each location:

  • Napa Valley, CA – Calistoga: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Napa Valley, CA – Napa Valley: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
  • Sonoma, CA – Alexander Valley: Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Primitivo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel
  • Sonoma, CA – Dry Creek Valley: Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet, Sangiovese, Primitivo, Malbec
  • Paso Robles, CA – Estrella: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Grenache, Viognier, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre
  • Paso Robles, CA – Geneseo: Aglianico, Albarino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Primitivo, Tannat
  • Lodi, CA – Sloughhouse: Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio
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How do I select the right vine for my needs?

The right vine depends on your personal preferences and the type of wine you wish to produce. Consider factors such as:

  • Flavor Profiles: Each grape variety produces different flavor profiles. For example, Merlot tends to be soft and fruity, while Cabernet Sauvignon is bold and full-bodied.
  • Climate: Some grape varieties thrive better in certain climates. For instance, Sauvignon Blanc does well in cooler climates, while Zinfandel prefers warmer conditions.
  • Wine Style: Think about whether you prefer red, white, or rosé wines, and the specific characteristics you enjoy in wine, such as acidity, sweetness, and tannin levels.
Can I select multiple vine types?

Yes, you can select multiple vine types. This allows you to experiment with different grape varieties and create unique blends. You can rent single vines or blocks of 5 vines.

The growing season

How does pruning decisions affect your wine?

Each choice you make in the growing process directly impacts the characteristics and quality of the final wine:

  • More Pruning (Spur or Cane Pruning):
    • Results in fewer but higher quality grapes.
    • Enhances the concentration of flavors and complexity.
    • Produces wines that are typically more full-bodied and robust with rich, intense flavors.
  • Less Pruning (Minimal Pruning):
    • Allows for more grapes to grow, often leading to higher yields.
    • Can result in lighter, more fruit-forward wines with higher acidity.
    • Wines may be less complex but more approachable and refreshing.
When should I prune?

Pruning can be done at any time during the growing season. We’ll provide recommendations based on your desired outcomes, but the decision is ultimately yours to make. 

  • Summer Pruning (Green Pruning):
    • Involves removing excess shoots and leaves during the growing season.
    • Helps manage canopy size and improve sunlight exposure and air circulation.
    • Ensures better grape quality and reduces disease risk.
  • Veraison Pruning:
    • Performed around the time the grapes start to change color (veraison).
    • Focuses on thinning grape clusters and removing non-fruitful shoots.
    • Improves grape ripening and enhances flavor concentration.
What is canopy management and why is it important?

Canopy management involves techniques to control the density and arrangement of vine leaves and shoots. It ensures proper sunlight exposure, air circulation, and grape ripening.

You can customize canopy management practices to suit your desired wine style and grape quality.

  • Leaf Removal:
    • Increases sunlight penetration and reduces shading.
    • Enhances grape ripening and flavor concentration.
    • Results in wines with more intense and complex flavors.
  • Shoot Thinning:
    • Removes excess shoots to balance vine growth.
    • Prevents overcrowding and improves air circulation.
    • Produces healthier grapes and more balanced wines.
  • Topping:
    • Trims the tops of the shoots to control vine vigor.
    • Promotes even ripening and consistent grape quality.
    • Leads to well-rounded wines with stable characteristics.
How does watering decisions affect your wine?

The frequency and method of watering have significant impacts on grape development and the resulting wine characteristics:

 

Frequent Watering:

  • Promotes consistent vine growth and reduces stress.
  • Ensures a steady supply of water, which can lead to larger, juicier grapes.
  • May dilute flavors, leading to wines that are less concentrated and intense.
  • Can result in lower acidity, affecting the wine’s structure and aging potential.

Moderate Watering:

  • Encourages deeper root growth, enhancing vine resilience and grape quality.
  • Balances water availability, producing grapes with good flavor concentration.
  • Leads to robust, complex wines with a strong sense of terroir.
  • Requires careful monitoring to avoid under or over-watering.
  • May result in uneven grape ripening if not managed properly.

Infrequent Watering:

  • Causes water stress, concentrating sugars and flavors in the grapes.
  • Produces wines with higher flavor concentration, intensity, and complexity.
  • Enhances the wine’s aging potential and structure.
  • Increases the risk of vine stress and potential damage if drought conditions occur.
  • Can result in smaller grape yields, affecting overall production volume.

 

Is there a limit on how much pruning I can do?

As long as you’re not requesting excessive pruning that would permanently damage the grapevine, we allow you to prune as much or as little as you’d like. Our vineyard managers are available to make changes throughout the growing season, just let us know how you’d like your vines to be managed.

How are my vines trellised?

Trellising is the practice of training grapevines to grow along a support system of wires and posts. It helps manage vine growth, optimize sunlight exposure, and improve air circulation.

Trellising decisions have been made by our vineyard and we’re unable to change them for a single season due to the investment and time needed to change them. Let us know if you’d like more details on how our vineyards are trellised at your location

Visiting, tasting, sampling

Can I visit the vineyard where my vines are located?

Soon. We are working on the best way to allow visitors to see their vines in person and perhaps even take part in the growing process. 

Our primary concern is permanent damage to the vines and/or soil by too many visitors. For now, your vines will be cared for by our professional vineyard teams, but we hope to have an update soon!

How do I schedule a visit to the vineyard?

Coming soon. For the latest, email us at info@splitvineyards.com

Do I receive any samples of my wine?

Yes, we provide one complimentary sample of your wine after fermentation. This allows you to taste and experience the initial results of your custom winemaking.

Additional samples can be ordered at any time. Simply request additional samples through the app. There is a $10 processing fee per request, plus the cost of shipping.

process.

Can I sample the grapes throughout the growing season?

Yes, you can request samples of the grapes throughout the growing season. This allows you to monitor the development and quality of the grapes. The same charge of $10 processing fee per request, plus the cost of shipping, applies.

Harvesting & winemaking

When should I harvest my grapes?

You can choose the harvest time based on desired wine characteristics. We’ll provide recommendations depending on your desired wine, varietals, an initial input. In general:

  • Early Harvest: Higher acidity
  • Mid Harvest: Balanced flavors
  • Late Harvest: Higher sugar content
How is my wine harvested?

All our vineyards are harvested by hand – maximizing the amount we can get from each vine and ensuring that crops don’t get damaged.

What is included in the $1/bottle winemaking price?

The $1/bottle winemaking price includes all basic features necessary for producing and bottling your wine. This covers standard fermentation, blending, short-term aging/storage options, bottles, labels, and screw caps tops.

Why is the winemaking fee separate from the vine rental fee?

Growing grapes for wine production and producing wine is a heavily regulated activity at both the state and federal level. To make things easier for everyone, we split crop cultivation (grape growing) and winemaking into two separate activities. This also allows home winemakers to get the best grapes for their own personal use. 

Bottling, branding, and shipping

Can I create custom labels for my wine?

Yes, you can upload your design or choose from our templates.

What are the shipping options for the final product?

You can choose between local pickup, domestic shipping, or international shipping. All shipments will be ID checked on arrival – 21+ years old only.

What type of bottles are used for the wine?

Our standard bottling includes high-quality dark (red wines) and clear (white wines) glass bottles that ensure the preservation and quality of your wine. Additional bottle options (heavier, different shapes, etc..) for an additional fee.

Wines are capped with screw tops for free or cork for a small upgrade fee.

Can I preview my custom labels before they are printed?

Yes, once you upload your design or choose a template, you will receive a digital proof to review and approve before the labels are printed.