Although there are many other uses for these delectable fruits, grapes are the basis for most of the world’s wine. About seventy-one percent of grapes from around the world are used for wine making, twenty-seven percent are used as fresh fruit, and the remaining two percent of the grapes are used in the form of dry fruit.
There are other types of fruits that are used to create wines, but it is the grape that may just be the perfect fruit for wine making. Grapes contain the right properties to produce wine. Such characteristics of grapes include naturally-high amounts of fermentable sugar, strong flavors, and color in the skins. Grape species have also been refined to deliver the utmost in aroma and flavor. Typically, grape juices are prepared from Vitis labrusca grapes, which are a grape species that is native to the Americas, because these grapes have loose skin that can be easily peeled off. Vitis vinifera grapes, which is a species of grape that is native to Europe and East and Central Asia, but has been planted all over the world, have a tight skin and can also be used for the production of wine. Grapes are also highly nutritional. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and they are cholesterol-free.
Although smaller then the productive vineyards all over the world, many people have succeeded in growing their own grapes at home and even in producing their own wine. Although the time it takes to tend to a small flourishing vineyard is great, the techniques to grow healthy grapevines is minimal. Home grape growers start their vineyards by finding a spot in their yard that possesses optimal conditions in which to successfully grow grapes. First, the area must have good exposure to sunlight and good drainage. After a good rainfall, examine the area you wish to grow your grapes for standing water. Standing water is a good indication that the area does not have sufficient drainage. Planting your vineyard on a slope will also provide the drainage needed to sustain grapevines. A slope can also reduce the grapevine’s exposure to heat or cold depending on its orientation. For example, in the cooler regions of the Northern Hemisphere, grapevines benefit from being planted on south facing slopes which offers exposure to a fair amount of heat and sunlight. Tending a vineyard will require daily care. Plant your vineyard where it can be easily accessed during the growing season for pruning, weeding and pest control. You should also make sure that tools and water are easily accessible as well.
Once you have the perfect location for your vineyard, you will need to prepare the soil and construct the trellis. Grapevines are a large plant that and are unable to sustain the weight of the grape clusters it produces. In the wild, grapevines can be found growing on structures like poles and fences. Grapes are perennial plants and therefore it will be about three years before you are able to harvest your first crop. Therefore it is very important to have a sturdy trellis that will last.
Once you are able to harvest your crop, you will be able to make your own wine. The amazing thing about grapes is that the soil and the area in which the grapes are grown will have a significant impact on the taste of the wine thereby making your wine truly unique.