The biggest challenge for me in my Urban Vining endeavor has been a lack of space. I am finding that same challenge persists as I move toward the winemaking side of things. On the viticulture side, space was the most limiting factor, as our .23 of an acre speck of land (much of which is taken up by the house) did not provide much of a canvas to work with. Factors such as maximizing sun exposure, the orientation of the house (north-south), and personal aesthetic ultimately, conspired to reduce the suitable space for planting, so much that there was only one place I could plant. These determined that the most I could accommodate was four vines. I have read that I could expect about 4-6 bottles of wine per vine. I assume then it is realistic to expect to get at least the equivalent of 10 bottles of wine from 4 vines (a bit more than 2 from each vine). This would yield at minimum 2 gallons of must, or at maximum, if the best case 6 bottles/vine were achieved, 4+ gallons. I expect closer to 2-3 bottles/vine as I will try to focus on quality over quantity. Perhaps some would be dissuaded by such a small yield but for me, due to being spatially challenged, this works out quite nicely.
In my last post I had suggested that I would start documenting my attempt to make wine from the kit I had received for Christmas; however this will now be delayed due my space (lack of) issues. Our house was built in the 1930’s and the garage is actually a carriage shed more akin to an tools/junk/spider home shed. As such, this eliminates the obvious location for a winemaking station until we can expand our “junk shed” into a proper walled garage, which financially may be beyond my lifetime. That leaves finding a location in the house to set things up. This poses challenges like avoiding large amounts of must from spilling/splashing onto our hardwood floors and surrounding furniture, let along determining where it can all fit. The two bedrooms, living room, and dining room were all out. Obviously the bathroom was a no go and after a brief discussion with the wife, the kitchen was out definitely not an option. The only room left was the office/guestroom, which will become the wine production/guest room.
While the biggest drawback of a small house and lot is having no space, the biggest advantage for efficiency is also having no space. It ensures you pare yourself down to the absolute essentials. It challenges you to be efficiently creative with the most valuable items being those that can multitask. From the picture you can see that I have begun to collect some equipment. Rather than sorting things out as I go, I am taking a few weeks to determine; what I can do to reduce my spatial needs, how I can reduce the mess that could accompany racking/ bottling, then buy the appropriate equipment, set up, and take the plunge, finally trying my hand at making some wine.