Some of the best products come from small-scale endeavors. Wine is no different. In Sonoma County, the boutique wineries are some of the most spectacular, not only for their wines, but also for the ambiance and the passionate people associated with these small grape farms. The small-scale viticulture in the area helps promote a farm-to-table lifestyle and community.
With many of the area's small wineries being multi-generational family affairs. It takes hard work and a lot of love to make these farms successful. Keeping the operations small and intimate is not only a goal (one area winery aims for the whole process to be a one-man show) but a commitment. This self-imposed size limit the vintner's promise to the people who visit and drink their wine so that they feel more like family than customers. With the home-like ambiance and the friendly farmers, it’s a good thing there are so many opportunities to visit and taste the wine from the small farms in Sonoma.
There is so much that goes into making a great wine, but not so much that you can’t grow some successfully at home. A lot of the success (as with much in life) is in the planning. Factors such as ripening season, weather, water source and control, sun exposure, and pests all have to be considered, and issues abetted before grapes can really flourish. Only after all the careful planning can you pick your grape!
Now take a minute and think about what you could do with your very own small scale, Sonoma county winery… What if the property was already turn-key, ready for you to move in and grow, harvest, and drink? One property in the area provides opportunity. This 7.32 acre property and home is conveniently located to offer the best of town and country life. Since all of the planning is well past completion, enjoying the 4.25 acres (4,514 vines) of Pinot Noir and 0.25 acres (180 vines) of Chardonnay is just a harvest away. So many of the planning issues have been resolved when you invest in a property such as this, with a water storage tanks for both the home and the crops and the properties own 200 foot deep well.
Caring for your own small-scale vineyard is full of hands-on work that can fulfill your love of the great outdoors. From watering, to fertilizing, and weeding and pruning, there are so many opportunities to use your hands, that making this a family affair, or hiring some outside help, can help maximize the enjoyment factor.
Harvesting your grapes and making your wine can be a learning process. The timing of harvest is just as important as the how. But once you have a fully harvested batch of grapes, ready to make into wine, the real fun begins. Making sure you have the right equipment is essential in a successful wine-making experience (there’s that all-important planning part again). Keeping your area and tools clean and inspecting the grapes has to happen before and during the wine-making process. After making the grapes into juice, fermentation is the process that is a little skill and a little magic (well, microbial activity, but winemaking is definitely a little magic). After fermenting and racking the wine, the wine can be bottles, sealed and shared. The fruits of your labor can finally be realized (and enjoyed, of course).
Now all you have to do is sit back, take a sip, and decide how to share your grapes (and maybe your wine) with the world!