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Thread: Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

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    Default Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

    We've been getting our fruit trees in order over the last few years and I'm interested in trying to make some wine at some point. Any forumites been down the path of choosing vines and getting planted, esp. in a northern climate? I've been doing some looking and nevinesupply.com is actually pretty local to me and has a lot of info.

    The basic winemaking itself is pretty straightforward (and I have a couple of friends who are homebrewers/vintners who can lend a hand on that front. I'm mostly trying to figure out what scale of planting I'll need to do, which grape varieties will be the best balance of cold hardiness/low maintenance and potential for flavor, etc.

    Anyone with a story to tell?

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    Default Re: Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

    When I retire, I will venture into wine making..... I would love to hear your story as you go along the process....
    life is too short to drink bad wine....

    Stuart Levy

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    Default Re: Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

    Get it touch with Mark Kelly, pretty sure he's in the business.

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    Default Re: Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

    No stores of my own, but the grape growing will be a chore for sure.

    A pal did up a mess of home brew a few years back. He lives in the Santa Rosa area and bought a lot of grapes from some growers and pressed and did the rest in his garage. The end product was quite good and powerful. Unfiltered, so purple teeth.

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    Default Re: Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

    Where are you based? What do you like?
    I buy from local farmers here (a short drive to Niagara) every fall and vinify happily. I occasionally buy some grapes from Lodi or other Cali regions if we're looking to make bigger reds. Northern climes produce some of the best grapes for elegant and complex whites. Mmm.
    Geoff used to race around on a Brodie Sovereign
    Geoff Morgan

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    Default Re: Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Britishbane View Post
    Get it touch with Mark Kelly, pretty sure he's in the business.
    I know almost nothing about non-vinifera varieties which are what you'll probably need that far north.

    The world guru on them was at the conference last week, Bruce Reisch form Cornell at Geneva NY. The Geneva research program's website is a veritable font of information on the topic, such as this presentation on grape varieties for cold areas.

    Regarding planting area, work out how much wine you want to make then work backwards from that figuring 5 tonnes as a commercial viticultural yield per acre and 80 cases of 9 litres as a commercial oenological yield per tonne.

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    Default Re: Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

    As a follow up and general comment for anybody thinking of going into this as a business, ask yourself what you have to offer that the thousands of other "vinechangers" with which this industry is cluttered do not. Why would anybody pay for your offering over the thousands of alternatives? What is it that they are paying for?

    If the answer is quality, don't delude yourself, your chances of being ahead of the game from a flat beginning are very small.

    If the answer is locality or personal connection, ask yourself how large your potential market is. You will only capture a small percentage of the purchases of your potential catchment because wine purchasers are very promiscuous.

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    Default Re: Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kelly View Post
    As a follow up and general comment for anybody thinking of going into this as a business, ask yourself what you have to offer that the thousands of other "vinechangers" with which this industry is cluttered do not. Why would anybody pay for your offering over the thousands of alternatives? What is it that they are paying for?

    If the answer is quality, don't delude yourself, your chances of being ahead of the game from a flat beginning are very small.

    If the answer is locality or personal connection, ask yourself how large your potential market is. You will only capture a small percentage of the purchases of your potential catchment because wine purchasers are very promiscuous.
    Sound's just like the bike industry.

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    Default Re: Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

    Quote Originally Posted by progetto View Post
    Sound's just like the bike industry.
    Yeah, but think what it would be like with 1500 small framebuilders in Oz alone and 2500 in California.

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    Default Re: Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

    Doesn't the old joke go...how do you make a million dollars in the wine industry? Start with 10 million...

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    Default Re: Anybody growing grapes/making wine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kelly View Post
    I know almost nothing about non-vinifera varieties which are what you'll probably need that far north.
    I'm not certain where the OP is located, but most cool climate regions in North America grow vinifera grapes. Labrusca was pulled out in favour of vinifera about 30 years ago. Some extreme regions grow hybrids, but an established region such as Niagara is very similar in climate, soil, topography to Burgundy, and so chard and pinot noir grow very well.
    Geoff used to race around on a Brodie Sovereign
    Geoff Morgan

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