Savouring grapes in its many guises has enabled humans to experience the delicious taste of this fruit and the “wine-some” ecstasy. Also, it renders a beautiful ornamental look to our gardens. However, despite being the most produced fruit in the world and its many services, few are well acquainted with the art of growing and preserving wine grapes. Callous attitude towards them almost always leads to the death of a plant otherwise capable of yielding fruitful results. Little care while growing and storing them, however, can fetch us dividends.
The dormant, bare-root grape vines grow best in the early spring. A site with the full sun with a small amount of afternoon shade and soil that is deep, well-drained, and lose for good air circulation with water at the time of planting can be wonderful for its holistic growth. Also, grape vines will need to be trained to some sort of support to grow upward. This will also cut the risk of disease.
Remy xo is the term that refers to the grape popularly made from the wines or from the mashes of other fruits. While most grape varieties are self-fertile, enquire once when you are buying vines if you will need more than one plant for pollination. Before planting grapevines, soak their roots in water for two or three hours and prune the top back to two or three buds at planting time. Water at the time of planting.
Prune to nurture
Pruning is important or else vines run rampant without control and canes will only produce fruit oncel. This occurs when the buds start to swell, but also when winter damage is apparent. We might need to remove at least 90 per cent of the previous season’s growth to ensure a higher quality product. That the more you prune, the more grapes you will have, is a fact. Ripe and ready to harvest when they are rich in colour, juicy, full-flavoured, easily crushed but not shrivelled and plump and should be tightly attached to the stems. The taste should be between sweet and tart.
Refrigerated storage of fruit and wine
You can also freeze this fruit for an icy treat.
They like to be kept nice and cool. Preferably between 30-40°F in a paper bag, or a plastic bag that is breathable. To prevent your washed grapes from sticking together and creating a rock-solid brick, lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze overnight. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag where they’ll keep for up to a year though some others can last for 2 to 11 years. Wines, however, have a higher temperature range. Where Rose wine can accommodate any temperature between 46-55ºF, the red blends, Light and Deep, have a tolerance range of 55- 66ºF.
Airy zone of the storage
Giving your grapes and wine enough room to breathe is imperative for them to remain fresh and consumable. One might avoid stacking them on top of each other and carefully separate the fruit into two bunches for storage, and use another bag if you need to. Stacking them restricts air circulation, and that will cause them to spoil sooner. If stored properly, they will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days. Even wine “breathes”, hence storing it with anything that has a strong smell is inadvisable as the smell will permeate through the cork and taint the wine. Good and proper ventilation may help prevent musty odours from entering the wine.
Appropriate time and place
Grapes, once plucked, do not ripen any further. They must ideally be consumed before they turn squishy and limp. Also given that not all wines improve over time and generally, inexpensive wines will not improve, the storage duration must be known beforehand. Red wines can be stored and aged for anywhere between 2-10 years to mature and prove handy in preparation of rich delicacies like the Red wine braised brisket and red cabbage one-pot recipe. However, it depends on the type of red wine and the balance of its sugar, acid, and tannins. Most white wines should be consumed after 2-3 years of storage though others (White Burgundies and Chardonnays) can be aged for over 20 years. When stored for such long periods, dark underground cellars must be preferred.
Provided we pay heed to such basic cautions, growing and storing grapes and its wine products is quite hunky-dory a process and easily adaptable. Any epicurean would do the drill.
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