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Old 06-21-2010, 05:24 PM   #1
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Default Growing Grapes at Home

I was wondering if anyone on here grows their own grapes for wine. My father and I had a discussion about turning some land on the ranch into a little vineyard. With out little knowledge on the subject we knew that hillsides are recommended, so we found a good hill that will get plenty of sunlight. Now we have been trying to find information on what kind of grapes to grow. Being in south central South Dakota we were unsure of what to expect for growing grapes until I found this website: http://sdgrapes.sdstate.edu/grapesd.cfm . Now we main things we are unsure of is:

What kind of grapes are recommended?
How many should be planted to make 50-100 gallons of wine?

We are hoping to get information about someone who has knowledge/experience with their own vineyard

Thanks in advance,

Chip

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Old 06-21-2010, 05:32 PM   #2
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I think first you need to decide on what wine you want to make as the grape varietal is key to that. then determine what, if anything, you'd have to do to the soil to make that grape happy there.

All I know is that grapes are said to grow in conditions where nothing else will. Not sure I believe that tho'.

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Old 06-21-2010, 05:54 PM   #3
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We were willing to decide what wine we were going to be able to grow. The only thing we have growing on the hillside is bromegrass right now, but we are willing to sacrifice some hay for some grapes. We have been leaning towards the Frontenac grapes and potentially another kind also. I am going to get in contact with out local county extension office to get some information about the soil as soon as I get a chance to get back to the area.

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Old 06-21-2010, 05:55 PM   #4
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County extension is a great resource for plant information as well. They will know what thrives in your area.

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Old 06-22-2010, 02:06 AM   #5
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Go to your library and check out books on vineyards. There are a lot of books out there.

Bu yeah, talk to your county extension office, which is usually funded by your ag university. They will know.

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Old 06-22-2010, 08:40 AM   #6
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Are there any wineries near you?

I've got a friend who's turned an unused pasture into a small vineyard, as a way to make a little extra money to pay off the property taxes. They found a local winery to buy their grapes(minus what they need for their own use), the winery helped them pick what grapes to grow and other advise on how to get the vineyard started up.

That could be something to look into. That is if you could find a winery near you, I know there is a few around Vermillion and Sioux Falls.

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Old 06-22-2010, 09:12 AM   #7
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i spoke to a guy who grew grapes and he said you would normally get between 1 and 2 bottles (750ml) per vine,depending on how the season was.i think this was pinot noir,not sure if it varies between varietals though

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Old 06-22-2010, 01:01 PM   #8
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You might want to pick up a copy of this book: http://www.amazon.com/Vines-Wines-Co.../dp/1580171052
I think you'll find it very useful. Regards, GF.

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Old 06-22-2010, 02:22 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the information everyone.

Nath,
The closest winery is at least 2-3 hours from our place. I think the goal is to make some family wine to give as gifts and to drink ourselves.

GF,
I will definitely start looking into some reference material. I will see if I can find that book in my library but if not i will have to look into buying a copy.

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Old 06-23-2010, 04:43 AM   #10
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FWIW I found out there are a couple wineries in WY. Worst tasting wine I've ever had. 1st and only bottle that after 1/2 a glass the rest went down the drain. I spoke with a few more knowledgeable than me, was told that the grapes that grow well up here, taste that bad. I've got a couple vines growing in my backyard, basically for decoration.

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