If you have a greenhouse, you might be pleased to know that you can grow and make your wine! Read ahead to get a good idea of how to do this.
With summer here, many people will be setting up deckchairs in the garden ready to enjoy a fine bottle or glass of quality vino. Wouldn’t it be great if you could toast your friends with a glass of South African wine that you grew yourself? It is perfectly possible to grow some grapevines in your backyard, even if you have something of a cloudy climate in your area. You can do this by making use of the following ways.
Selecting your grape
Winemaking varieties are often grown outside, dessert grapes on the other hand are grown within a greenhouse, however, modern and natural wine varieties mean that all kinds of wines are made in different ways now. However, if you have a cooler climate, then you might want to cheat a little bit and grow your wine grapes in your greenhouse.
Grapes for colder climates
A good variety is a siegerrebe wine, which is early to crop variety, this means that if there is a bit of a late start to spring then you should have enough time to rip up before winter. If it is a heavy cropper, you should get a bit more than other kidneys. A bonus of this is that it has a dual purpose. This means that the grapes can be eaten, and pressed for wine. Reliable siegerrebe can be found in vineyards as far north as British Columbia as well as Nova Scotia – if the frosty Canadians can grow it, then it should be fine in cloudy old Albion.
If you live in a warmer region, then you have much more flexibility! If you are in an arid part of the world then you might even need a variety that is drought tolerant.
To plan a grapevine just prepare by digging the soil over and removing weeds. Then you can fork in the organic matter. Vines cope with a lot of soil types – they don’t like very wet conditions though, loving the sunshine.
You should encourage the grapevines to grow upwards by having some vertical support. You can do this against posts, walls, wires and much more.
You will want to keep a careful routine in which you water newly planted vines in dry weather and feed them within a general organic fertiliser in the early spring. You should mulch these in the growing season to lock in soil moisture and suppress weeds. If needed, you can net them against birds to keep them away.
The most exciting bit is to reap what you sow, and in this case, it is picking grapes. You should taste them to see if they are ripe and ready. When cooked you should store the theme up to a few days at a push, but it is better if you get it to work when it is ultra-fresh.