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14 Ideas for the Best Grape Vine Trellis

Trellises are one of the best ways to support growing plants — they provide a framework for the plant to lean against and direct its growth, making it easier to harvest fruit clusters later.

A grapevine tendril growing on a trellis wire.

Grapevines are the best example of plants that should be grown using a trellis. If you want to grow your own, you may be confused by the many types of trellises there are for grapes.

Each grapevine and grower has different needs, so there is no single best grape vine trellis.

In this guide, we’ve collected a list of grape vine trellis ideas for your grapevine. We cover different grape varieties, climates, and why one trellis system might be better for your situation than others.

Why Do You Need a Grape Vine Trellis?

Grapes are stem-tendril climbing plants that grow upwards even with their weak stems. They grow with the support of walls, fences, and nearby structures. Climbers often develop special twinges, tendrils, or strong roots to hook onto objects and grow along them vertically.

However, letting climbers grow wildly can make them vulnerable to diseases, unbalanced growth, and even result in less produce. Properly cultivating a healthy vine requires a proper grape trellis design to support and optimize production.

A grape vine trellis:

  • Supports the grapevine.
  • Supports the weight of huge clusters.
  • Promotes air circulation through the vine canopy, preventing disease.
  • Spreads the vine cover to ensure all parts are exposed to the sun.
  • Makes harvesting easy.

Are you ready to start your backyard vineyard? Order the vines and garden supplies first!

14 of the Best Grape Vine Trellis Styles

The best grape vine trellis is often the most accommodating for your chosen variety of grapes. Most mature vines grow one to four feet a year and produce a large or small quantity of fruit clusters, depending on several factors.

To understand the work involved in cultivating your own backyard grape trellis, check out our guides to pruning grapevines and training grapevines.

The list below will help you determine what trellis will go best with the grape.


Fence Trellis

Bunches of blue grapes on grapevines growing on lattice fence panels.

A fence grape vine trellis uses fence posts as its structural support. It is best used in small backyard gardens with limited space.

Depending on your need for privacy and your grapevine, you can get a fence trellis of any height.

Features

  • Fancy grape trellis
  • Expandable

Pros

  • Easy to harvest fruits
  • Provides privacy
  • Excellent aesthetic appeal
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Height limit

Materials/Supplies Needed

For this simple grape vine trellis, you’ll need:

Trellis fencing panels


Grapevine Training Trellis

Red grapes growing on an overhead pergola.
A temporary training system can train a grapevine to grow onto a pergola.

A training trellis is a non-permanent installation that supports the vine’s growth. It is the best option if you don’t want to commit to a single trellis system.

The training trellis helps the grapevine attach to a vertical object. You can do this with a temporary vertical pole or garden tape/twine to encourage vertical growth.

Features

  • Suitable for early weeks of plantation

Pros

  • Temporary
  • Trains young grape vines into upright growth

Cons

  • Not for long-term use

Materials/Supplies Needed

To construct this style of grape vine trellis, you’ll need: 

Garden tape

Cotton twine

Vertical support


Cordon Trellis Systems

A grapevine growing on a single wire.

This amazing grape trellis system is commonly used in commercial vineyards. It involves two posts set into the ground with wiring between them. The trellis wire supports two cordons (fruit-bearing branches) on opposite sides of the wooden post.

Cordon trellis is best leveraged for the large amount of space it provides for foliage and fruiting.

Features

  • Single wire
  • Two cordons

Pros

  • High fruiting and foliage
  • Minimal grape vine management
  • Suits various grape varieties
  • Good light penetration
  • Easy to prune

Cons

  • Cordon replacement every four to five years

Materials/Supplies Needed

In order to build a cordon trellis, you’ll need to buy: 

Twine wiring 

Vertical supports


Y Trellis

Bunches of blue grapes on grapevines growing in a Y formation.

The Y-shaped posts support multiple wires between them, with the top supporting as many as nine wires. This setup is excellent if you need to support a robust sauvignon blanc — it requires a very strong system with many wires.

The complexity of this trellis may be too much work for a backyard grape grower.

Features

  • Y-shaped posts
  • Supports up to nine wires

Pros

  • Suitable for robust grape varieties

Cons

  • Difficult for beginners
  • High tension load

Materials/Supplies Needed

For this project, you’ll need to buy:

Y-shaped trellis  

Galvanized wire 


Gable Trellis

Bunches of red grapes growing on trellis wires.

Best for high tension and heavy crop loads, the Gable trellis has ten wires running parallel between the Y-shaped posts with rafters.

It ensures equal light distribution, better airflow, and consistent growth, which is best suited for table grapes.

Features

  • Supports up to 10 horizontal wires
  • Good for table varieties

Pros

  • Holds heavy crop loads
  • Promotes good airflow
  • Even light distribution
  • Consistent fruit development

Cons

  • High initial cost
  • Hand harvesting is a must
  • High tension load

Materials/Supplies Needed

Buy the following for this trellis system:

Y-shaped trellis 

Wire


Four-Cane And Umbrella Kniffin Systems Trellis

Closeup of a bunch of blue grapes on a grapevine.

This complex system involves two different trellising strategies. The four-cane trellis features horizontal posts with two heavy steel wires stretching between them at different heights.

The umbrella kniffin system directs the fruiting canes to grow upwards and droop over the wires. This involves pruning two or four canes from the top of the trunk for up to 20 buds.

This structure allows you to replace the arms with canes from the renewal spur.

Features

  • Heavy-duty wires
  • Two-layers of wires

Pros

  • Great sunlight distribution

Cons

  • Too complex for beginners
  • Requires annual pruning

Materials/Supplies Needed:

For this grape vine trellis project, you’ll need: 

Vertical supports 

Galvanized steel wire 


Multiple Wire Vertical Trellis

A grapevine growing on a multiwire trellis in late summer or early fall.

These vertical grape vine trellises have multiple wires between them, all stretched at different heights to allow more cordons to grow.

This structure is perfect for your favorite varieties with vigorous upright growth.

Features

  • Two or more additional wires between vertical posts
  • Best for varieties with upright growth

Pros

  • Higher yield

Cons

  • Reduced exposure for lowest wire

Materials/Supplies Needed

To build a multiple wire vertical trellis, you’ll need to buy: 

Vertical supports 

Galvanized steel wire


T Trellis

Closeup of dark blue or black grapes.

T trellises feature multiple T-shaped posts that support three wires between them. These support a higher yield and make it easy to prune the old canes that aren’t growing as vigorously.

Features

  • T-shaped vertical posts

Pros

  • Higher yield
  • More scope for pruning
  • Makes room for new growth

Cons

  • Not suitable for warm climates

Materials/Supplies Needed

To construct a T trellis for your grape vine, you’ll need:

T support 

Wire 


Bilateral Canes (Goyut) Trellis

A bunch of blue or purple grapes on a grapevine.

This trellis system involves stretching two young canes (lateral shoots) in two directions from the post, supported on a wire. The lateral shoots are then pruned back every year once they go dormant. Growers must then select the canes for the following year’s harvest time.

This system limits trunk growth and prevents frost.

Features

  • Cane-based system
  • Prevents frost

Pros

  • For cold climates
  • More fruitful nodes

Cons

  • Requires annual pruning

Materials/Supplies Needed

To build a Goyut trellis, you’ll need to buy:

Vertical supports 

Wire


Quadrilateral Canes Trellis

Bunches of green grapes on grapevines.

The quadrilateral system uses four canes instead of two. The trellis structure features two parallel wires suspended between the posts that each support two canes growing in opposite directions.

This setup is excellent for cold northern climates. It also helps distribute fruiting nodes vertically.

Features

  • Two parallel wires
  • Four cane pruning

Pros

  • Prevents winter injury
  • More fruiting nodes

Cons

  • Annual cane pruning required
  • Lowest wire receives less sunlight and airflow

Materials/Supplies Needed

For this grape vine trellis project, you’ll buy:

Vertical supports 

Wire


Sloping Arm Trellis

Bunches of pink grapes on a grapevine.

This trellis system is a fantastic option if you want to optimize sunlight exposure for the vine. This is very important if you live in an area that gets limited sunlight during certain months.

The system features three-foot posts to which a nine-foot crossbar is attached at an angle of 35 degrees. It supports seven to nine high tension wires, great for heavy load vine varieties.

Features

  • Supports seven to nine wires

Pros

  • Good for equal light distribution
  • Lots of growing room

Cons

  • Requires high tension wires

Materials/Supplies Needed

To create a sloping arm trellis system, you’ll need:

Vertical supports 

Wire 


Bilateral Cordons With Spurs Trellis

Grapes turning red on a grapevine.

This system stretches two cordons in opposite directions along a single wire that sits between two posts. It also involves spur pruning, which is a method of cutting new canes back until they only hold two or three buds per spur. This pruned cane with buds makes a single viable spur.

Unlike cane trellising, this type of grape vine trellis is perfect for warm climates.

Features

  • Two cordons
  • Single wire

Pros

  • Best for warm climates
  • Excellent sun exposure
  • Great for mechanical grape pruning

Cons

  • Too many old cordons
  • Difficult to get rid of cordons
  • Old cordons may become vulnerable to diseases
  • Reduces vigor

Materials/Supplies Needed

To build this grape vine trellis project, you’ll need to buy:

Vertical supports 

Wire 


Quadrilateral Cordons With Spurs Trellis

Pink grapes turning purple on a grapevine.

This method is similar to bilateral cordons but involves twice the number of cordons and wires that sit parallel. It is also known as a Geneva double curtain.

It ensures almost double the output compared to a bilateral cordon with spur trellising.

Features

  • Two parallel wires
  • Four cordons

Pros

  • Good sun exposure
  • Great for warmer regions
  • Best for high vigor vines

Cons

  • Too much work, not the best option for beginners

Materials/Supplies Needed

For this advanced grape vine trellis project, you’ll need:

Supports 

Wire


Single Wire Trellis

New growth on a trellised grapevine.

This is a simple and very popular type of backyard grape vine trellis system. In this structure, a single wire supports the cordon and crop, both of which attach to the vertical supports.

Features

  • Five to six feet tall
  • Ideal for table or sweet wine varieties

Pros

  • Easy to construct
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for small yards

Cons

  • Not ideal for maximum yield

Materials/Supplies Needed

To construct an easy single wire trellis system, you’ll buy

Vertical supports 

Steel wire


How Tall Should a Grape Trellis Be?

The size of a grape trellis largely depends on pruning technique, types of grapes, accessibility, and other factors.

A grapevine growing on a verticle wooden trellis panel.

A grape trellis for table grapes should typically be around five to seven feet tall, while a wine grape variety should be three feet tall.

If you’re a wine lover, here is a guide on making wine from grapes.

A sturdy trellis must have at least two feet buried in the ground, so a 10-foot trellis should work.

Whether you’re a beginner or have some gardening experience, our page should help you learn more about growing juicy grapes in your backyard.

Wrapping up the Best Grapevine Trellis

This wraps up the many varieties of grape vine trellises and what they’re most suited for.

New growth on a grapevine.

As you can see, there are many options to choose from. Your perfect setup depends on the grape varieties you want to grow, your skill level, the climate in your area, and even the tools and equipment you have access to.

We hope this list can help you figure out the best grape vine trellis for your garden, grape, and region.

Got more questions about grapes? Visit our Grapevines page to learn about popular grape varieties and read our helpful growing and care guides.