ABSTRACT In vineyards, thrips are listed as pests in many countries in continental Europe and the United States, attacking fruits, flowers, leaves and buds. In Brazil, many species have been reported in vineyards. This work aimed to evaluate the best technique and sampling unit, and the number of samples required in a conventional plan for sampling thrips in a vineyard. The studies were carried out in areas of Vitis vinifera, cultivar Sugraone, without application of insecticides. An area of 2.240m2 was subjected to sample collection of leaves in different strata of 15 plants, and leaves on strata of branches for two subsequent years, totalizing 47 sampling dates. Furthermore, the sampling techniques of beating the inflorescence on a tray and whole inflorescence collection were also addressed. To calculate the sampling time, productive vineyards were used, with the varieties Sugraone and Thompson Seedless. Linear regressions of the relative densities as a function of absolute densities for thrips on branch per plant and leaves per branch were estimated. The technique of beating inflorescence on a tray was the one that best represented the results. The sampling unit that best represented the population was composed of one leaf collected from the median part of the branch. Thrips sampling should be conducted in 10 plants and 10 inflorescences per hectare to estimate the thrips population properly on plants and flowers, respectively.