Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Future Vineyard?

Central Valley Vineyard
Central Valley Vineyard (somewhere near Fresno)
What could be ahead in my future? Potentially my own vineyard. I took a viticulture class at my school last quarter and learned a lot about wines and grape varieties. From this, my fascination to try growing my own and attempts to find the different varietal style grapes (those for wine, not for table grapes as found in a grocery store) has begun. Unless you have a special order with a grapevine nursery, it isn't easy finding wine grape plants. Plus I think there are laws regarding the shipment of grapevines into California, not too sure yet. However, there are tons of wineries in the state that grow dozens of different grape varieties, so it shouldn't be so difficult to acquire wine grapevines.

Symphony Grapevine
The culmination of a minimum wage nursery worker's work
So far in my accumulation of grapevines I have acquired two different plants: Thompson Seedless and Symphony. I got the Thompson Seedless plant when I was back at home. However, I ran out of time and didn't plant it before I left, so I'm relying on my parents to do that. Thompson Seedless is a multipurpose grape, being used in wines, for raisins, and as table grapes. It's mostly used for raisins in this country though.
Thompson Seedless plant
Thompson Seedless Grapevine
The second grapevine I got today from a giveaway during Picnic Day at UC Davis. What better place to find a grapevine than the #1 Viticulture School in the country. The line to get these vines was so long, I thought they would run out before I reached the front. They were giving out many different varieties like Zinfindel, Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Moscato. They gave me a variety called Symphony. I was told it is like Moscato, but I read up on it regardless. From some Wikipedia research, I found out that this variety was created at UC Davis by Dr. Harold Olmo. It took him 30 years to successfully hybridize the parent grapes (Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache gris) before it was released in the 1980s. Apparently it's grown around the Lodi area and in Hawaii. These white grapes make wines with "a slight spiciness with tree fruit aromas of citrus, apricot and peach". That sounds pretty delicious to me. If this plant survives and I find a place for it, then I might have some homegrown (estate) wine. Granted that the land might be expensive for a vineyard, but doing a small scale operation in a yard would be more ideal.
Central Valley Vineyard 2
This could potentially be my future.... maybe not a vineyard this big.
See vineyard additions from later years: 2015 -- 2016 -- 2017
Viticulture Main Page

1 comment:

  1. I have recently gotten into an obsession with wines in general. I've actually got a bottle of pink moscato still in my fridge. There's actually a class here at Tech (VA) called the History of Wine, but I had some time conflicts. You get a grade by learning wine. How cool is that?

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