How to Grow Your Own Wine

A vineyard in your own garden, with grapes hanging over the terrace or on the wall, don’t we all want that?
It’s easier than you think.

Location and Soil

This almost goes without saying, but make sure you plant the grapes in full sunlight. And if necessary (depending on where you live), you should also look for a spot with well-drained soil. The roots of a vine should not stay in water.
Clayey- or humus-rich sandy soil are very good for growing wine grapes, but the best results will be achieved on calcareous soil.

Planting

Growing grapes is not as hard as you may first think, but there are a few basics you need to know. First of all, the best time to plant the grapes is usually between September and March. But before you even get started, it is important to make some kind of structure to which you can tie the branches up. There are a lot of structures you can think of and if you plan on making this a big and ongoing hobby you should really investigate this further, but a quick and easy way to get started is by using a wire screen.

The holes should all leave enough room for the roots and you should plant the grape as deep as it was at the nursery (this depends on the type of grape). Plant the grapes at least 7 feet apart and 12 inches from the wall or fence. When you’re ready, make sure you gently press the soil around the plant.
Now leave the soil settle for a few weeks before you start binding the main branches.

Choice of Grape, Pruning and Harvesting

The title of this section sounds promising, doesn’t it? But the problem is: these are all topics of their own.
We’ll probably touch on a few of the topics in the future, but for now we just wanted to show you the basics and let you know it’s possible to grow wine yourself. It does require a bit more research and information than we can show you here, but we encourage you to just start and go from there.
Good luck!

The Serving Temperature of Wine

When you drink a glass of wine, it can heat up quickly, too quickly. This depends on the thickness of the glass, the temperature of the environment and the way you hold the glass. The more sophisticated white wines usually allow for higher serving temperatures, and (on the contrary) the cheaper red wines with lots of tannin can be served warmer than good reds with little or no tannin.
Generally speaking though, it’s better to serve your wine a little too cold. This is because wine warms up when you hold the glass in your hand, and warm wines give off more alcohol in the taste and smell of the wine.

White wine

White wines need to be served cold, but not refrigerator cold, just a bit warmer.

  • Fruity and fresh, semi-dry wines: 44-48 °F
  • Champagne and other sparkling whites: 46-50 °F
  • Light and fruity dry whites: 46-50 °F
  • Rich and aromatic dry wines: 50-54 °F
  • Very full, complex, dry wines: 54 °F
  • Sweet white wines: 50-54 °F

Red wines

Red wines generally need to be served warmer.

  • Fresh, fruity and light wines: 57-61 °F
  • Full and spicy wines: 61-64 °F
  • Powerful, robust reds: 61-64 °F
  • Lush, sweet red wines: 61-64 °F

Cooling Time

Depending on your refrigerator, these are the temperatures you will reach.

  • 4 hour cooling: 44 °F
  • 3 hour cooling: 46-50 °F
  • 2 hour cooling: 50-54 °F
  • 1.5 hour cooling: 54 °F
  • 1 hour cooling: 57-61 °F

How to Cool

If you need to cool your wines rapidly, you can use a refrigerator or a cooling bucket. For best effects, the bucket should be at least as deep as the whole bottle (neck included). And here’s a tip: add water in the bucket, this works better and longer than if you fill it with ice only.

However, the options above only allow for quick and sub-optimal cooling, as you can’t set the exact temperature. For the best possible tasting experience we sincerely advice you to visit a good wine cooler website and select a wine fridge for your home. They come in all sizes, and you can have a dozen wines stored at the exact right temperature for less than 100 dollars.