Growing Grapes and Making Homemade Wine

What you need to know about growing grapes and making homemade wine, including tips on picking grape varieties, how to plant grapes, tending grapevines, when to harvest grapes and a guide to making homemade wine.

  • Learn about the process of growing grapes and making homemade wine.
    Learn about the process of growing grapes and making homemade wine.

  • Learn about the process of growing grapes and making homemade wine.

Learn about growing grapes and making homemade wine with these step-by-step instructions.

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Growing Grapes and Making Homemade Wine

Wine quality is dictated mainly by the grapevines, not by the winemaker.The better the grapes, the better the wine. If you have a proper growing site that has good drainage, access to full sunlight and nutrient-poor soil, you can micromanage their development and pick them at the moment of perfection.

Wine quality also depends on picking the fruit when its not only ripe, but mature, and making sure the harvested fruit is immediately brought to the winery — perhaps your garage or basement — to begin the winemaking process.

How to Grow Grapes

Grapevines hate wet feet, so choose a sloped peel site with good drainage. If their roots stand in water, they'll die, or at least they won't produce good grapes. Site your vines on a southeast- to southwest-facing slope so their- leaves can soak up as much sunshine as possible. Sunlight is the powerhouse be hind photosynthesis, driving the process that fills the grapes with sugars, which, after fermentation, become alcohol.

The grape skins contain all of the flavor and color. The larger the grape berries (individual grapes), the less skin and more juice there is. A handful of tiny grapes, however, is almost all skin and no juice, which translates into concentrated, rich color and flavor in the juice, and ultimately, in the wine. Planting grapes in nutrient-poor soil-even dry, poor soil — will stress the vines, keep vine vigor down and produce small grape berries, which is exactly what you want.

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