California Wine – Buy or Grow Your Own?

Posted under Fruits, Grapes, Home gardening tips | No Comment

If you love a good California wine, you’re not alone.  Enough people enjoy California wine that there are over 1100 vineyards producing it!  (They grew over 3 million tons of wine grapes just in 2008 alone…)  In fact, California, if it were a country, would be the 4th largest one producing wines in the world, just after France, Italy and Spain.

While most people think of California wines as coming from the Napa or Sonoma Counties up near San Francisco, in reality, the bulk of the grapes are grown in the Central Valley (reaching from Sacramento to San Joaquin.)  This area produces over 75% of the grapes grown to make California’s wines each year.




There are 7 types of grapes most commonly used in California wine are:

Cabernet Sauvignon
Pinot Noir
Sauvignon Blanc

So, what’s needed to grow your own wine grape? 

One, it can take years for a grapevine to mature, so you’ll need to plan for the long haul and have a good-sized space you can devote to them.  (I say them as it can take as many as 300-600 of some types of grapes just to get the ingredients for *1* bottle of wine so you’ll need quite a few vines!)

Two, depending on the type of grape you wish to grow, soil, humidity, acidity, temperature, hours of sunshine, rain and quite a few more conditions will be needed to get a good crop.  (However, even if you don’t enjoy California’s great growing weather where you live, there are hybrid grapes that have been created for those less-than-hospitable areas so don’t despair if you don’t already live in California…)

Three, you’ll need some equipment to do things like destemming, skinning, crushing, filtering, mixing and bottling, depending on how many bottles of wine you’ll want to make and what type of wine you’re trying to create.

So, if you still want to grow and make your own California (or any other kind of wine made from grapes), I’d recommend getting your hands on this book to give you the best headstart (available in either Audiobook or eBook format): 

The Complete Grape Growing System by Danie Wium
This book tells you how to:

  • Pick Training-systems, trellises, fences and arbour
  • Prepare your soil before planting and planting your grapes
  • Train and prunce your grape vine in the first year
  • What to expect in the second year
  • Water your grape vine
  • Spring and summer treatments for your vine
  • Deal with some common diseases you may encounter and controlling them
  • How to decide when are your grapes ready for harvesting
  • Contact the author for more help

(The book also has a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee which makes it risk-free to try out.)

However, if you’re like me, waiting a couple years for just a few bottles of (what may or may not be like) California wine may be a bit more work that I want to do. May I recommend joining a wine club? 

Wine clubs give you the best of all worlds (depending on the state you live in):  great prices, a huge selection to test and try out before you settle on a favorite (or favorites) and they’re delivered directly to your door.  One such club you can try is The California Wine Club. It’s free to join and the wines are 100% guaranteed. 

And just think – even if you still want to grow your own wine grape plants and try your hand at bottling your own vintage, wouldn’t it be better to know which wines you like best so you’d know what grapes and side items to grow/buy to make them?

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