The process of growing grapes has been around for centuries, since the early days of human civilization. A process used all over the world, growing grapes is a rewarding practice that leads to the even more gratifying procedure of making wine.

The Growing Process

Before you can enjoy that first glass of wine, you will have to grow the grapes. There are two different grape varieties groups to choose from when you are first beginning to plant your grapevine; the European grape varieties and the hybrids.

Select Your Cultivars According to Climate

Traditional grape growing in areas like California most likely use the European varieties. Those who live in areas where there is a shorter growing season are limited to the hybrid grape varieties. Hardiness through winter and resistance to disease has been bred into the hybrid grapes. We all know that wine is offered in either wine or red so, this is also something to consider when thinking about.

what type of grapes to grow

The most vital thing to remember about growing grapes is they are evergreen plants, and thus it will be about 3 years before you’re able to crop your first crop. But, some excellent news is the quality doesn’t think about the winemaker but on the grapevines.

Establish Optimum Growing Conditions

Giving your grapevine lots of sunlight and a nutrient deficient soil is vital for the harvesting of a healthy grapevine with fruit suitable for wine making. While sunlight will aid in the grapes sweetness, a nutrient-poor soil will stress out the vine. This will force the grapes to grow smaller and maximize the amount of skin; the key to the color and flavor of the wine. Large grapes, on the contrary, are more suitable to eat since they offer more juice and less skin ” a friendlier scheme for our palate.

Determine the Prime Harvesting Time

Time will come to harvest your grapes, and you have to ensure that they have fully ripened. A hydrometer will help you measure the sugar content of the fruit to determine its ripeness. In addition, before proceeding to the fermentation step, you will need to stabilize the acidity levels with special chemicals that can be purchased at your local wine making supply store. There you will also find other handy supplies such as bottles, corks, hydrometers and more. Acidity-wise, you will need to pay special attention to hybrid grape harvests, since these generally offer fruits with higher amounts of acidity than the European grape varieties.

The Fermentation & Finishing Process

After stabilizing acidity levels, its time to add the yeast in order to ferment the wine. Different types of yeast will offer different results in wine taste and character. A little trial and error might be necessary to find the best yeast for your taste. Once you add the yeast, fermentation should take about a week, followed by the first ageing of the wine that enables sediments to settle for later separation during bottling. Ageing can vary from months to years, depending on the type of grape and the resulting wine you are trying to achieve. After bottling your wine, a second ageing is to be done to enhance and deepen its flavors. Even though there are no set schedules for wines ageing process, the rule of thumb is the earlier the harvest, the better the wine.

Following your time and efforts to grow a healthy harvest and make a great wine, opening the first bottle of the harvest is as rewarding as the satisfaction of making it just like you like it. Preserve your efforts during ageing and be patient! When it comes to growing grapes and making wine, a little patience goes a long way. Trust me, when time comes to savor it, you will taste the difference.

Pierre Duponte is a grape growing expert. He spends his time teaching others how to make fine wines. For more great tips on How To Grow Grapes and how to make wine visit

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