Turning Vines Into Wines, One Vineyard at a Time


As a wine enthusiast I am excited to share a recent discovery of some amazing work done by a local San Diego business owner, Greg Maness and his investment partner, John Keily, at Maness Vineyards Estate & Casi Cielo Farm.   I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Greg to learn more about a new vineyard design he was able to achieve using SmartDraw.  In this week’s blog post, we’ll see how Maness Vineyards is helping San Diego turn vines into wines, one vineyard at a time.

Can you tell me about Maness Vineyards?

We install turn-key professionally designed vineyards.  We sell vines, consult on vineyard design, oversee installation and provide vineyard maintenance services.  We can also recommend all the proper equipment, tools, and the best organic fertilizers necessary to maintain a worry-free vineyard.  We’ve consulted on vineyards throughout San Diego County.

Why were you looking for a new design tool?

I draw all of our vineyard designs by hand.  I always have.  I recently shared one of my hand drawn vineyard designs to an electrical company for review.  They were surprised at the format and refused to work with us.  I was embarrassed. The embarrassment angered me enough to find a software I could use.  That’s when I found SmartDraw.

Why did you choose SmartDraw?

You guys rock!  I watched a few videos, downloaded the trial, and played with it.  I knew . . . I gotta have it.  It’s flexible, easy to use.  It gave me access to tons of symbols. I have the ability to create layers, apply textures and colors to objects, and I can display dimensions.

What is the “Revolver Vineyard”?

The Revolver Vineyard is the new addition to the expanding Highway 94 Wine Corridor in Jamul, California.  The Revolver Vineyard design is an example of the new design concept that we are exploring at Maness Vineyards.  It’s where vineyards are shaped as objects rather than the traditional square or rectangle shapes.  Overtime the vineyards will mature and when viewed via satellite from Google Earth the vineyards will appear as shapes.  When I shared my SmartDraw diagram of the revolver design with the owners of the vineyard, they flipped out. They absolutely loved it.

Maness Revolver Vineyard

Click to view the Revolver Vineyard design in a pdf.

How did you create the “Revolver Vineyard” design?

You’ve gotta think outside the box.  I wasn’t able to find an existing outline of a revolver in the Symbol Library, so I used the Line tool at the top.  From the straight to curve to freehand, I was able to draw what I needed.  To top it off I did it all to scale since SmartDraw allows you the option to draw with the dimensions displayed.  I also like using the fill-in color choice when adding water lines on the vineyards.

With whom do you share your vineyard designs?

Our team is responsible for design, installation management, consulting, and maintenance education & services.  Yet, we are not alone. We work closely with landscaping and excavation teams as well as companies whose expertise range from soil analysis and Organic Fertilizer recommendations to functional water saving drip irrigation systems with seasonal timer controls.  With SmartDraw, I can easily export my .sdr files into a pdf that I can send via email.  It’s that simple.

What happens when vineyard installation is complete?

We have a big celebration where we present the owners of the new vineyard with a gift.  In the past, I’ve framed my hand drawn vineyard designs.  Now that I have SmartDraw, I’ll be framing our SmartDraw vineyard designs for all of our new vineyard owners.

Greg Maness presenting the Revolver Vineyard design to the new proud owners of the vineyard.
Greg Maness presenting the SmartDraw diagram of the Revolver Vineyard design to the new proud owners of the vineyard.

You’ve had SmartDraw for 90 days now, how would you rate it?

I’m getting a bit more used to the features.  Yet, I would rate the product a 10 out of 10!  I won’t draw another vineyard design without it.

Any advice for new SmartDraw users or potential customers?

To be honest, I am not really good with technology.  So far, I love SmartDraw. The software is easy to use and you get some great results.  There’s lots of cool stuff.  It’s worth every nickel.

Do You Have a Story You’d Like to Share?

How do you use SmartDraw?  I’d love to hear your story. I’m always intrigued to find out how other members of the SmartDraw community are using it.  Send me an email at rjbitner@smartdraw.com.