VINEYARDS

So you want to plant a vineyard?  Maybe make some wine?

 

We all tend to get wound up in the romance of the beauty of a beautiful vineyard and the wonderful shared experiences of wine tasting with friends or someone special.  Let me burst your bubble and tell you planting and taking care of a vineyard is not for the faint of heart.  It is a lot of sweat equity in the beginning, and yes, you can hire someone to install it.  It can be expensive and you should know it will be 3-5 years before the vines are producing quality grapes for making wine (they can bear fruit the first year, but not good enough).

 

So why bother doing this you ask?  Some would say the work and expenses are worth the rewards.  I might say from the start that grapevines do not take a lot of water once established.  Even up in Paso Robles, some vineyards are dry farmed, meaning they are not irrigated.  Of course it is not realistic to think you can dry farm a vineyard in the Inland Empire, but a vineyard will require far less water than your landscape and lawn.  In fact there will be 3 to 5 months you can shut off the water completely (after Oct-Nov to April-May).

 

The vines add a peaceful beauty to any landscape and can be planted trellised or free standing goblet style depending on the location, soil type and varietal.  Vines can give you a true inspiration of the seasons with the March bud break and spring development of the shoots to the leaves turning color in the fall after harvest to the stark woody cordons in the winter dormancy period.

 

Those that take on the endeavor of a vineyard will experience an enormous sense of pride, and will develop a new network of fellow gentlemen farmers who share the same passion.  The same goes for those who decide to make wine either as an amateur or professionally.  There are clubs and classes for those who seek to become involved in some aspect of the wine industry.  Many cities and counties have put together clubs for those seeking the information and comaradarie of growing grapes and making wine.

 

To bridge the gap and help folks get started, Karen Sherman (owner and winemaker of Coyote Oaks Vineyards) and Chuck Sherman (owner of Gardenmasters of Redlands) have teamed up to rejuvenate a resurgence of vineyards in the Inland Empire.  You can make wine for the household without a bond or license.  The limit is 100 gallons per adult per household (maximum 200 gallons).  This is plenty enough for personal consumption and gifts for friends and relatives!

 

The amount of grapes you will be able to harvest from your vineyard depends on the terroir and varietal.  It is also dependant on how much fruit is dropped when thinning the vines during their growth cycle, as well as how many vines per acre.  You do not need an acre of land, to be able to make wine.  You can plant a small section of 50 vines and have some fun, as well as purchase grapes.  Often, amateur winemaking clubs put together an order for grapes to be able to access quality grapes from a commercial grower.

VINEYARD GROWERS

WANT TO INSTALL A VINEYARD?

 

JOIN A GROUP OF ESTABLISHED VINEYARD GROWERS WHO CAN HELP YOU LEARN THE PROCESS.

 

OR

 

START YOUR OWN GROUP AND REDLANDS ESTATE VINEYARDS GROUP WILL HELP YOU THROUGH THE STEPS TO START A BACK YARD VINEYARD.


WINE MAKERS

 

WANT TO MAKE SOME WINE?

 

JOIN A GROUP OF ESTABLISHED WINE MAKERS WHO CAN HELP YOU LEARN THE PROCESS.

 

OR

 

START YOUR OWN GROUP AND REDLANDS ESTATE VINEYARDS GROUP WILL HELP YOU THROUGH THE STEPS TO PRODUCE YOUR FIRST BOTTLE OF WINE. 


COLLECTING WINE

 

BECOME A REV MEMBER AND CONNECT WITH OTHER WINE AFICIANADOS