The history of growing grapes and making wine is almost as old as humans themselves. It is a process that was seen all over the world in all of the major civilizations. In today’s society, growing grapes and making wine is just as rewarding and is well worth the effort.

The Growing Process

Prior to tasting your first glass of home made wine, growing grapes correctly is the prime step. With 2 different grape varieties to select from, before you even think about your grapevine.

Picking the Right Grape Cultivar

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 important thing to remember about growing grapes is that they are perennial plants, and therefore, it will be about three years before you are able to harvest your first crop. But, some good news is that the quality does not reflect on 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

In order to determine if its time to harvest your grapevine, you will need to measure the acidity of the fruit in each vine. When harvesting, it is essential that you stabilize acidity levels before adding the yeast to ensure proper fermentation. You can find acidity measurers and acidity stabilizing chemicals at your local wine making supply store, as well as bottles, corks and wine fermenting yeast.

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.

This age old tradition is well worth the time and effort. When the time is right to open that first bottle made especially by you, friends and family will line to be amazed and admire your newly acquired skill.

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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