Apr 02 2012

Before you can put your first bottle into your wine rack, it is important that your grapes are ripe enough to be harvested. The quality of wine is determined by the grapevines and not the wine maker.

Though it requires a lot of skill and practice to make the perfect fine wine the quality of the grapevine will impact greatly on the flavour and quality of the wine. To grow your own grapes you must ensure that your growing site is in the right climate. For example, in order to pick your grapes at the moment of absolute perfection your site must have full access to sunlight, have good drainage and nutrient-rich soil.

The quality of wine is also dependant on the time of harvest. Not only should the grapes be ripe, but they should also mature. Following harvest, you should take your grapevine immediately to the winery, whether it is your garage or basement, in order to start the winemaking process.

The variety of grapevine you choose to plant will highly depend on what type of wine you would like to make, your current or planned location and location climate. Choosing the right variety of grape will not only give you a free pass to making the finest wine but will also ensure that your grapevine will mature properly based on your location.

There are two ways in which you can test the maturity of the grapes and the latter is often regarded as the most effective. While tasting the grapes is a great technique, perhaps consider investing in a hydrometer. A hydrometer will measure the gravity of the liquid meaning that it will be able to inform you of the sugar content of the grapes. A gravity of around 1.095 is ideal and means that the grapevine should be mature enough to harvest.

If your first sample doesn’t produce the desired results don’t worry as the sample will provide a guideline of what you want your grapes to taste like in the long-run. Moreover, it is advised to check the seeds of the sample to guarantee full maturity. If the seeds are green, then it is recommended to leave the grapes on the vine whereas if they consist of a brownish colour then they are ready to be picked.