Definition - What does Irrigation mean?

Irrigation is the watering of any crop in agriculture. When it comes to viticulture, however, irrigation is not permitted in every region of the world.

In the case of the cultivation of vineyards, there are two methods of irrigation; drip and flood. The method utilized often depends on local tradition and/or what is permitted according to the access of natural water sources.

WineFrog explains Irrigation

While irrigation is essentially the watering of any agricultural crop and can be done using various methods, for vineyards, there are only two forms of irrigating vines; drip and flood.

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is administered via systems of hoses which are punctured

with small holes that "drip" water near the surface of the soil.

Flood Irrigation

Flood irrigation is performed by digging ditches alongside vines. During the early growing stages of the growing season, the main water source is opened and allowed to flood these ditches.

Depending on the wine region, irrigation is not always permitted. This may be due to water shortages in which farmers need to make due via dry-farming. Or this restriction may be implemented by law, such as in certain regions of Europe where Appellation d'Origine Controllee, Denominacion de Origen Calificada and Denominazione di Origine Calificada systems place certain rules in how vineyards are cultivated and managed.

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