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The next terrain model I will briefly discuss is the Slope model.

Slope (inclination of the land from the horizontal) can either be expressed in degrees or in percentage. I prefer to use degree, but when you use the SRTM data it is expressed in percentage.


3D slope preview – The green arrow points north

Determining the slope degree does not only dictate where you can mechanize, but will show potential erosion zones,  will impact irrigation planning, row direction, trellis system, soil temperature and will have a massive impact on the potential solar radiation (which I will cover later). To manage very steep slopes, vineyards are planted on terraces (unless the soils are firm enough or rainfall low enough so that erosion is not a threat). This gives structure to the soil you are utilizing, prevents erosion and makes mechanization possible (on some sites).


Mas Alta – Priorat – Spain

Usually, steeper slopes are also at a higher elevation and this combination almost always results in very special and unique wines. This also means handcrafted vines, making handcrafted wines! I think the best example is the Mosel in Germany.

But that’s kind of that for slopes. It’s steep or it isn’t, but it makes a big impact on a lot of things.


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