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Grow Your Own Wine


I had a quick search for topics related to this but couldn’t find anything. Does anyone on here grow their own vines? I’d image they must!

Last year I planted my “vineyard” which consists of one Chardonnay and one Pinot Noir vine (well I’m in Kent, therefore something sparkling seemed appropriate)!

This year I have my first grapes starting to show!

I plan to make wine with these in years to come. Of course I’m not expecting anything more than plonk from it and of course the yield of 2 vines will be minimal, but I thought it would be great fun and a nice way to experience the wine making process first hand

Has anyone else done similar?


Wow! this looks just lovely! :smile:
In the house I shared with my ex-husband we had a vine in the garden, brought over from Turkey apparently, by the previous owner of the house who was- you guessed it- Turkish. Not even sure if one is allowed to do that…? in any case, it never got anywhere, and neither of us had any idea how to look after it. Last time I checked out my ex’s garden it was well and truly dead.
Sounds like you know what to do- and I hope it works for you!
Incidentally, Mr Johnson (my current and forever husband :blush:) is planning to plant some Kentish hops at some point. So hope (and hops) springs eternal :herb:


Er, no - but it’ll be fun finding out!! :laughing:

There’s a fair amount of info online and that’s stood me in good stead for the last couple of years veg gardening


If you grow it on a balcony maybe @ASmith can help :slight_smile:


I agree! But I also think one has to have a bit of a flair… and lots of patience. And I have neither. Let us know how the cottage industry is developing in neighbouring Kent :wink:


I’m sure I could pass as an Old School flamboyant wine producer

“I do not recognise anything made outside my own vineyard as wine. It is an insult to my family and, worse, to my palate”…


We grow Pinot teinturier, more as a decorative thing than anything. I doubt it would make a drinkable wine, but as the grapes give a dark red, tangy juice, we use it to make grape jelly or chutney, which are delicious.


Sounds really lovely!

I doubt these will make a very nice wine but the fun is in trying and learning!


Indeed! I hope you’ll let us know how it all goes.

(PS those are flower buds. The grapes follow on after - hopefully. Just pray for no late frosts, which clobbered a lot of the English vineyards last year.)


Yep - definitely learning!! :laughing:


I planted 20 Solaris when I had an allotment, and as a volunteer with the National Trust had a hand in 450 Phoenix vines.

Patience is a virtue. I was advised that in order to ensure a proper crop from year 3 onwards to remove the flowers and th early grapes, only allowing fruit to set in Year 3. Eventually I moved my Solaris to a plot next to the NT Phoenix, where we let them be a sacrificial crop as they had thin skins and ripened earlier, thus protecting the main vines from the ace predator…wasps. Overall our production was 2 bottles per vine in a good year, but productivity varied from vine to vine. We used a high maintenance technique, avoiding sprays etc.
In Kent you could be prone to powdery mildew, esp on the Chardonnay, so light and air rather than lush vegetation.

I am, though, merely a bumbling amateur who wishes you well.


Frosts…and Burgundy.


This is from the comments on a Gruniad article on “natural wine”, so not my swear word…

“My grandfather, am Italian living in the UK, used to make wine from grapes he grew in his Midlands garden, completely without additives and using techniques his father presumably handed down to him in the early 1900s. He’s dead a decade now. But I still remember tasting that deep red wine . It was shit.”

This is the article, only the Gruniad can endlessly repeat the same in different articles but it is worth reading the comments, which again for the Gruniad is unusual !!!


Great quote! :joy:

There’s a local guy who has a large allotment and only grows grapes, all of which he turns into wine. He is well known but no one I know has tasted his product. Leading me to believe is either very good or very bad! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I know he’s been at it at least two decades…


That’s food for thought - I had intended to let them grow this year and see what I got but perhaps that’s not the best idea. I hadn’t read that elsewhere so thanks for the tip


Yup. Standard for commercial vineyards, no crop for the first 3-4 years.
You want the plant to spend its energies on growing roots not grapes.

I’ve got one Muller Thurgau and 6 Phoenix - at least they were sold to me as Phoenix but their leaves don’t match each other so I don’t think they are all the same.

I tried making wine one year but it was no good. Nowadays snails get many of the grapes. If we have enough ripe ones we make grape jam, and jolly nice it is too on scones.


I’m a way from comparing myself to a commercial vineyard :laughing:

Any idea what’s the best technique? Prune the sub laterals back to before the grape once the bunch sets, or chop off those flower buds now?


I’m going to settle in front of the tablet and watch this Gardener’s World episode unfold!.. :grin:
Hey, where’s Nigel and Nellie?? :dog2:


I would chop the buds.


A job for the weekend then!