Thursday, January 1, 2009

The skinny on buying grapes

So a reader, Marc Plesse, asks by e-mail: "I stumbled across your site. My question is, can you buy grapes from a vineyard to make wine at home? Have you done this, any recommendations, etc.? I live in the Brandywine area."

And Lee Miller, from Chaddsford Winery, takes a few minutes off from celebrating her birthday and New Year's to offer this insight. Thanks Lee.

"Like most things, the answer is 'it depends' . . . on the vineyard. Usually those of us with large vineyards sell by the ton and pick mechanically with a harvester into one ton bulk bins. So it's a bit of a bother to sell a few pounds to a home winemaker. BUT, some of the smaller vineyards who pick by hand might be willing to have someone come out and pick with them and sell small quantities. I would suggest they contact Carole and Jim Kirkpatrick at Kreutz Creek Vineyards or Dave Hoffman at Paradocx. If not, I would keep trying the smaller vineyards, maybe Stargazers in particular."

Plesse said he won a home wine-making kit through a raffle and thought he'd give it a try.

Any more questions regarding wines or winemaking? Just direct them to

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