How to turn water into wine? Grow grapes!

by Natasha Starkell | 08.01.2014 | grape , wine | 0 comments | Rating: 2 votes

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Great news – just 2000 years after the Messiah himself, we’ve worked out how to turn water into wine.

Unfortunately, our process takes a little bit longer. Here it is:

  1. Get your water ready.

  2. Buy a grape vine.

  3. Double dig the ground, incorporating manure or compost and fertiliser and ensuring good drainage. Plant the vines, ideally in November or December.

  4. During the growing season, pour the water over the vine every seven to ten days, especially if your grape grows on a wall. Apply potassium fertiliser every two to three weeks. Reduce amount of water when the fruit ripens though.

  5. Train the vine over the tree years to develop a vertical rod (cordon), on which permanent fruiting branches will be formed.  

    1. In the first year, in the summer allow side branches to develop on the main stem – but then cut back all buds except for two or three. At the same time allow the main stem to develop and tie it to the vertical support. Zealous pruning will lead to a better root structure that can support the extra weight of fruit. Continue to pour on the water every seven to ten days throughout the growing season.

    2. In early winter cut back the main stem by two thirds of the new growth.

    3. Next summer, allow side branches to develop to five leaves. Then prune back all branches to leave a couple of buds on each one. Also remove flower clusters as they grow to prevent any fruit from growing. Keep pouring that water throughout the growing season.

    4. Next year, in early winter again remove two thirds of the main stem and cut back side branches to a single strong bud.

    5. In spring allow only two shoots to grow at each spur, so remove others.

    6. Allow one bunch of grapes to grow per cane (in subsequent years, one bunch can be grown per branch). During the growing season – yep you guessed it – keep watering.

    7. Once your grape is established, make sure to remove two thirds of the new growth until the vertical stem reaches the top of its support. Cut branches to one bud so that every winter your grapevine will look just like a cane.

  6. In summer, once the grapes are ripe and there are enough of them, harvest them and make wine.

And voila! Around 4 years later, your water (+ grapevine + sunshine) has turned into wine. You’re welcome.

As this winter is quite mild you probably still have time to prune your grape, but hurry – all works have to be completed by mid-winter to avoid damaging the plant.


Natasha Starkell
Written by Natasha Starkell

Working mum, struggling with gardening chores.

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