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Thread: First harvest

  1. #1
    Deltawhiskey is offline Sprouter
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    Default First harvest

    I have always wanted to make wine from my own grapes. I have just filtered the wine from my first grapes. Because of the hot summer the wasps were decimating the grapes and so I had to harvest earlier than I wanted before they ate the lot. This resulted in lower sugar than I would have liked and higher acid. Both were adjusted and a very drinkable wine is the result. I limited each vine to three bunches as you are not supposed to over-crop when vines are young. Even so with 60 vines I still got 5 gallons. I know one must’nt count ones chickens but there should be double that next year and three times that the year after. I do have some possible problems though. First, where will I get enough bottles? Second, where will I store it all? Third, it is white and I drink mainly red. Who is going to drink it all? I suppose, because I can’t sell it I will have to give it away and in the process make lots of friends!

    David

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    Nicos's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are doing really well!
    Can you ask friends, family and peeps at work to save bottles for you?

    I don't know the first thing about making wine from grapes, but might you consider making some fizzy dry wine another year?...always good for a celebration!

    Could you cheat a tad and add some red grape juice next time and so make some rose too?

    ...just a few thoughts....
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  3. #3
    Deltawhiskey is offline Sprouter
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    Hi Nicos,
    I had an odd bit of space and have planted a couple of red vines. I also have plans for a pergola over my South-East facing patio and will grow some reds over that too. The problem with bottles is that a lot of wine is now in screw top bottles and while you can put corks in them they don’t look good. Sparkling wine is another ball game altogether. Having said that, English sparkling wine quality is now challenging French sparkle and especially in terms of price.
    David
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  4. #4
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    Congratulations on what sounds like a great first harvest and preservation

    Ask family and friends to keep their empty bottles for you. Do you know anyone who works in a pub that might keep the wine bottles?

    I'm sure you'll work out where to store it but if you have a garage you could build a storage unit in there or get a bunch of plastic boxes large enough to get several wine bottles in and stack them somewhere cool.

    Thirdly why plant out all white grapes if you only drink red? I know red grapes are used to make white wines (e.g. Champagne can be made with Pino Noir) by making sure the skins are separated from the juice as soon as possible. Although it's sort of traditional for reds to be at room temperature and whites to be chilled you don't have to follow this. Having a white at room temperature changes its flavour so you could try room temperature white to see how you like it. You could blend some of the white into the reds to combine their flavours, adding more might give a rose. You could try adding dried grape skins/grape skin extracts along with wine finishers to use the white to simulate a red or even ferment the white skins with the pulp to get a different bodied wine (although still a white or orange).

    You could fortify it with polish spirit, adding other flavourings, to make a fortified wine or liqueur

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  5. #5
    burnie is offline Veggie gardener
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    The French tend to keep their wine in barrels, you then take your own container and fill it up, could you not do something like that?
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    I have a red grape vine - it makes pale pink wine. I’m not a lover of homemade wine so I’ve only had a few goes but I made a batch of sparkling wine by accident once and it was delicious.
    Everyone drinks prosecco these days which all come corked. I save mine for a friend who makes the fizzy stuff.

    As for the wasps...Perhaps you were just unlikely this year? I’ve got a huge vine and I’ve never been troubled by wasps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by burnie View Post
    The French tend to keep their wine in barrels, you then take your own container and fill it up, could you not do something like that?
    Or ignore the container and get a reclining chair
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  8. #8
    Deltawhiskey is offline Sprouter
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    Hi Jay-ell,
    I originally planted all white because all the information was that only thin reds could be made in the U.K. I recently sampled some red wine on the Isle of Wight and it was superb and full bodied. That’s when I planted the reds. I will drink white wine on occasion but I may grub up some of the whites and replace with reds in the future.
    David

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