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Grapes Cultivation in India: A Complete Guide for Beginners

This basic guide for beginners covers almost all aspects of grape cultivation right from varieties and sowing to harvesting and yield. It also covers grape uses, health benefits, varieties, and nutrition value of grape fruits.

Shipra Singh
Fresh Grapes

Grapes are true berries. The fruit wall (pericarp) is fleshy throughout. Fruit can be green, red, and deep purple.  A grape crop is a deciduous woody vine belonging to the flowering plant genus vitis 

Common name:  Grape (in English), Angoor (in Hindi)  

Scientific name: Vitis vinifera  

Family: Vitaceae  

Grape Cultivation in India

The grape plant is a perennial bush featuring helices – tendrils and trails. Grape is a vine – a climbing plant. The tendrils, which are degenerated inflorescences, grow on stems.  

Leaves are shaped like a heart. They are big and placed opposite to each other. They show prominent nerves. Color, size, and shape of leaves and fruits vary with the variety.  

There are seedless and seeded varieties. The seeded variety may show upto 4 seeds per fruit. Seeds have 4-6% tannins.  


Viticulture is the study and the cultivation of grapes. It can be for consumption (table grapes) or for wine production. Viticulture involves all the agricultural practices and studies till the harvest of grape crop.  


Oenology is the study and the cultivation of grapes for wine making. Oenology also involves the process of wine making.  

Grape Producing States: 

Maharashtra is the number one grape producing state in India. Grape cultivation is prevalent in Nasik, Pune, Ahmednagar, Sangli, Osmanabad, Solapur, and Satara districts of the state.  

Nasik is called the Wine Capital of India. It also has a grape packhouse facility 

After Maharashtra, grape crop is widely produced in Kolar, Bangalore, and Bijapur areas of Karnataka, in RangareddyAnanthapur, and Medak areas of Andhra Pradesh, and in Tamil Nadu.  

Grape Varieties in India:  

Over 20 varieties of grape are cultivated in India. Only 12 varieties are grown commercially. 

The following are the names: 

  • Black seeded: Bangalore Blue, Isabella

  • Purple seeded: Gulabi (Muscat)

  • White seeded: Anab-e-Shahi and Dilkhush(this is the clone of variety Anab-e-Shahi), Bhokri 

  • Black seedless: Sharad Seedless, Beauty Seedless

  • White seedless: Thompson Seedless, Pusa Seedless, Perlette, Tas-A-Ganesh and Sonaka(these are clones of Thompson Seedless), and Manik Chaman 

  • Red seedless: Flame Seedless

  • Purple seeded: Gulabi Syn, Muscat Hamburg

  • Black seedless: Sharad Seedless (this is a mutant of Kishmish Chomi)

At present, Thompson Seedless (along with its clones) is the leading grape variety constituting 55% of the production area.  

Bangalore Blue, Dilkhush, and Anab-e-Shahi constitute 15% each, Perlette and Sharad Seedless constitute 5% each, and Bhokri and Gulabi together constitute 5% of the total production area.  

(Sources for varieties: APEDA and FAO)  

Climate Required:  

Grape is a highly versatile crop. It can be grown in almost all kinds of climate viz: 

  • Temperate: In America, Australia, Russia, and Europe. 

  • Tropical: In West and South India, Argentina, Chile, Kenya, and Venezuela. 

  • Sub-tropical: In North India, China, Pakistan, Israel, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. 

Mediterranean climate is the best for grape cultivation.   

Vines stay evergreen in a tropical climate. Grape crop performs beautifully in the area that gets no or very less rain during the ripening time of fruits. 

Soil Required: 

Grape cultivation can be done in various soil types.  

Best soil: Well-drained sandy loam to loamy soil having good organic matter. Soil pH should be below pH 8.7. It should have lime concentration of upto 20% and calcium carbonate of upto 10%.  

Alkaline soils with poor drainage are not suited.  

Mode of Propagation: 

  • Hardwood cutting

  • Greenwood cutting

  • Grafting

  • Layering

  • Seed (this is not used commercially) 

Grapes Sowing Process: 

Soil preparation: 

Soil is tilled. Pits are prepared at appropriate spacing, as grapevines are generally planted in pits. Depth of pits range from 60 cm to 90 cm.  

Spacing of pit depends on the variety and type of training system.   

You must prepare the pit and keep them open for 30 days before planting.  

Best planting time 

  • Between February and March for north India.

  • Between November and January for peninsular India. 

  • Between December and January for Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. 

Grape cultivation is generally not done during monsoon.  

Grape plant begins to grow 10-15 days after planting. Grape growth starts earlier in warm season than in cold season.  

Just a month after planting, the plants require staking and training.  

Training systems in grape crop: 

  • Bower system: Most popular for commercial grape cultivation. About 80% of the grape vineyards are under this system.  

  • Kniffin system: Less expensive, but also less popular because the yield is less under this system.  

  • Telephone system: It looks like a telephone pole with wires and all, hence, the name. Not much suitable for hot and dry places, as berries suffer from sunburn. 

  • Head system:  Least expensive, feature very close spacing, shows less occurrence of diseases, and gives bigger size of berries. 

(Source for training systems: National Horticulture Board)  

Pruning of grape vines: 

Pruning is done when the vines are dormant. When grape farming is done in mild tropics, pruning is done twice. Harvesting is also done twice.  

Varieties like Bangalore Blue and Gulabi show a fair resistance to rain damage. So, pruning can be done at any time throughout the year.  

In hot tropics, pruning is done twice, but harvesting is done once. Pruning is done between March and May. The vines are pruned to single node. They develop canes, which are then pruned between October and November to induce fruiting.  

Irrigation Requirement:  

Irrigation practices differ in different regions. It depends on pruning time, monsoon pattern, soil’s water holding capacity, variety, training system, and spacing.  

  • Irrigate the vineyard once every 3 days in newly planted crop. 

  • In case of drip irrigation, a single emitter is fixed at the vine base. Later, it is increased to 2 and then 4. 

  • Heavy irrigation is done immediately after pruning to wet the whole root zone and trigger active growth. 

  • During winter, grape crop requires light irrigation in a gap of 10-12 days. 

  • In case of rainfall, the next irrigation is skipped or delayed. 

  • Frequency of irrigation is decreased during fruiting, anthesis, and after softening of berry for enhancement in fruit quality. 


Soils of vineyard are either heavy clay soils, or sandy loam soils. So, organic manure is of high importance.  

Apply 20 grams urea to just planted vines in March. Repeat in May and July.  

In the second year, follow the below fertilizer schedule: 

  • Apply whole FYM (Farm Yard Manure) + superphosphate + half Nitrogen (N) + half Phosphate (K) immediately after pruning. 

  • Apply the rest of N and K after setting of fruit in April. 

Weed management: 

Weeds that grow between vine rows are uprooted through tractor-drawn weeding tools. Weeds within rows are removed manually.  

At times, about 2 kg/ha of main glyphosate or about 7.5 kg/ha of paraquat is sprayed in full-grown vineyards.  

Pests & Diseases:  

Thrips, wasps, and flea beetles are the main insects in grape farming. Spray Dimethoate, Dichlorovas, and Endosulfan for insect control.  

Black rot, powdery mildew, downy mildew, leaf blight, and wilt are the main diseases.  

new fungicide of natural origin is available for wine and table grapes.  

Disorders in grape crop include berry cracking, trunk splitting, dead arm, leaf chlorosis, and post-harvest berry drop.  

Grape Harvesting: 

In North India grape farming, fruiting occurs 2 years after planting. Ripening happens in May end.  

Taste is a vital indicator for fruit ripening. Berries start ripening from the shoulders, then the center, and lastly the tip of clusters.  

Harvesting is generally done when fruits change color from their tips and become sweet. 

The best time for harvesting: Early in the day when the temperature is below 20 degree Celsius.  

A day before harvesting, decayed, broken, deformed, and under-sized berries are plucked out.  

Yield of Grape Crop: 

Yield differs with climate and variety. An average yield of anything between 20 tonnes/ha and 25 tonnes/ha is regarded as good.  

Below is the average yield: 

  • Bangalore Blue and Anab-e-Shahi: 40-50 tonnes/ha

  • Seedless varieties: 20 tonnes/ha

farmer wins Padma Shri Award for his grape farm and other crops.  


Grape has a shelf life of one week when stored at room temperature.  

It is possible to extend the shelf life by deploying suitable methods. When stored at optimum conditions, Anab-e-Shahi can stay fresh for 40 days, Thompson Seedless for 30-60 days, and Muscat for 45 days.  

Best storage condition: temperature of 0 degree Celsius and humidity of 92-96%.  

Grape Uses:  

  • Eaten as whole fruit

  • Used to make wine, grape juice, grape seed extract, jam, jelly, raisins, grape seed oil, and vinegar. 

Grape Nutrition Value:  

One cup (100 grams) of grapes contains: 

  • Calories: 67

  • Total fat: 0.4 gm

  • Sodium: 2 mg

  • Potassium: 191 mg

  • Total carbs: 17 gm

  • Dietary fiber: 0.9 gm 

  • Sugar: 16 gm

  • Protein: 0.6 gm

  • Vitamin A: 2% of daily value

  • Vitamin C: 6% of daily value

  • Vitamin B6: 5% of daily value

  • Calcium, iron, and magnesium: 1% of daily value 

(Source for nutrition value: USDA)  

Grape Health Benefits:  

  • Grapes have antioxidants like polyphenols, which possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. One of the polyphenols is resveratrol, which is present in the grape skin, preferably red grapes. 

  • Studies suggest that resveratrol can prevent or slow down growth of tumors in stomach, liver, breast, colon, lymph, and skin, and prevent leukemia. 

  • According to American Heart Association (AHA), presence of fiber and potassium in grapes helps in cardiovascular health and blood pressure. Resveratrol can decrease risk of atherosclerosis and can protect the heart. 

  • Fiber and water content of grapes helps in good bowel movement and treats constipation. 

  • Contrary to the popular belief, diabetics can eat grapes. The American Diabetes Association promotes the consumption of grapes as long as you eat in moderation. 

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