The

Vineyard

“This wine made itself”, is a well-known refrain of satisfaction among winemakers. It is a reflection of the quality of the grapes received from the field at harvest. As a hobbyist, if you don’t have the luxury of working with local growers to source your grapes, you may find yourself at odds from time to time with the quality of grapes shipped to you for winemaking. 

Time to get acquainted with viticulture, the cultivation, and the harvesting of grapes! 

Growing your own vines provides the control necessary to maximize the opportunity for harvesting at the quality levels you desire. Having a vineyard also enables you to participate in the entirety of the creation process, from ground to bottle. 

A satisfying and rewarding endeavor in itself.

Acreage at your disposal isn’t required, though some open or repurposed space is necessary. You can do a lot with a small block of vines if need be. You also shouldn’t be discouraged if you believe the local climate isn’t suited to growing wine grapes. There are grape types for every climate!

Having a vineyard is truly a labor of love. The level of thought, work, and time in growing grapes for winemaking should not be underestimated. Three to five growing seasons are necessary for grape vines to fully produce. If you’re already a multi-growing season avid gardener, you can probably begin to envision the effort required, when the information is in hand. 

Useful information in hand is what this site is all about.

There are three topic blocks; plan, plant, and sustain. The information is geared toward new and aspiring growers, though intermediates may uncover benefits as well. Each block contains an overview, accompanied by links to online sources from subject matter experts. Content is curated for maximum import, and updated as needed for relevancy. 

Plan

Action without planning limits results. Similar to most horticultural endeavors, grapes meant for winemaking benefit from various cultivation approaches. If these approaches are haphazardly followed, vines are forgiving. They’ll grow like weeds almost anywhere, becoming large and gangly. They’ll produce small bunches of inconsistent fruit. Untamed vines don’t translate to good grapes for making palatable wine.

Plant – First Year

Winter is loosening its grip and spring approaches. As detailed in The Vineyard Plan and associated topic blocks, you’ve developed a plan and approach for planting a vineyard. Double-check your plan to ensure the steps below are covered.

Time to execute.

2nd Year Vines

Sustain

Caring for a vineyard is truly a labor of love. Undoubtedly learned in planning and planting the vines having weathered the first year—labor, patience, a bit of luck, and love go hand in hand. There is something innate within all of us about being part of creation. We grow as part of the process. Sustaining the multi-year effort of love is now paramount.

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