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An Ultimate Drink Local Experience

With the Drink Local Wine Conference coming up soon I thought about what may be the ultimate drink local wine experience. This experience would be different for everyone. For me, the ultimate drink local wine experience would be a wine made from grapes in my backyard vineyard, just a few feet away from our kitchen. That’s pretty local. While searching my cellar, I found two bottles of a 2010 Niagara that I made from grapes in my back yard. This was an interesting wine. One that I made a mistake in making. We managed to harvest about 15 pounds of Niagara grapes in 2010. We ended up with only a gallon of wine. I accidentally forgot to degas the wine before bottling. When opening it, there was some fizz and an effervescence on the tongue. It was delicious and a mistake that I’d like to make again especially with a small batch of Niagara..

I’d rather make wine than grow grapes. Growing grapes is hard and you’re at the mercy of nature. Last year was an example of nature showing who is boss. We lost all our Niagara grapes. The brix level never went above 12 and the the remnants of a hurricane dumped tons of water on the area. Following the hurricane there was a week long rain train. We experienced double digit rainfalls. The brix levels went down, however the grapes were still sought after by birds. We freed more birds from the netting than tasted grapes from the vines. So last year was a loss. That makes the 2010 bottle that much more special.

How was the wine? I think having the little effervescence helped make the wine delicious. It had the typical Niagara grape aroma.The wine was initially sweet but began to dry on the finish. Kathy and her sister had some of the wine. The grape vines were transplanted from the house where they grew up. They associated the wine with many memories of eating the Niagara grapes while living at home on the farm in Marcellus, New York.


Niagara grapes in early August 2010 about a month before harvest.

We had less than 15 pounds of grapes and had to decide to make jelly or wine. Wine won out.

Not renting a press for crushing just a few pounds of grapes, we went old school and Kathy crushed them.



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