DescriptionViticulture is present, to varying degrees, in all eight of Ticino's districts. It began with very extensive production methods towards the end of the 1700s with crops associated between the rows of vines (corn- tobacco- etc.), & evolved into a more rational (where possible) viticulture, characterized by high density planting (about 4,000 vines per hectare) which allows for optimum mechanization in the vineyard and a reduction of working hours.
At present the surface reaches a total of roughly 980 hectares and is made up of 83% Merlot varieties. A large number of vine-growers (about 3,800 in Ticino) work on their little land plots during their free time. In the last twenty years some have begun full time professional viticulture; they cultivate their vines and produce wine with their grapes. There are about 30 professional vine-growers-producers and a dozen vine-growers with their own vineyards. There are about 100 vine-growers who work half time and sell their own grapes to wine cellars. There are about 48,000 hectoliters (year 2000) of wine produced annually, about 92% of which DOC.