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Grow Your Own Wine


Sorry, but they upped and moved to Oxfordshire 18 months ago!!
Ages ago, I was looking in the Museum of London, and there are a lot of references to vineyards…particularly in the Lea Valley where there are still vast areas of nurseries. Italians moved into this area and brought vines with them. I don’t think any are now functioning otherwse the Forty Hall Crew would have had their marketing challenged.
Peterborough also has a large Italian community…brickworks…and when I was working there in the `90s a group had formed a Coop and were producing wine from individual vines in back gardens and allotments. For their own consumption only, but I did taste some at a social occasion. If memory serves me well it could be what @laura is searching for as a food match for a Big Mac! I think I managed half a glass.


Have been pruning back the vine in my back garden, looks to be in the ‘buckshot berries’ stage - will try and count the bunches but I reckon I have too many for 1 vine!


An update on my nascent vines. Despite the snails, my Bacchus did flower when we were on holiday and now has two bunches of grapes. Yay! We all know small yield equals high quality, so at this rate i’ll be charging 1st growth prices for my Chateau La Taupe 2018!


Love it!

I took the advice and pruned the flowers on my vines this year but there are a few bunches growing on the vine in my parents garden


I walked past this today, the vine in this person’s garden as grown out and over a tree the other side of the fence! Quite a lot of bunches on it; the gardens by me aren’t very big so I dread to think how much of it has been taken over!


I’m intending to make my first home wine this year. Whilst I have a young Bacchus with fruit on it, it won’t be enough so I’ll be buying in some grapes or concentrate so I can get familiar with the process. Two questions - what would people recommend in terms of grapes / concentrates; which decent wine making kits would people recommend?


Can’t be of help, I’m afraid ,but I have a little tale…
In the late 70s I was earning my living teaching in Norwich. Amongst the group of friends and contacts was a Senior Environmental Health officer. One Sunday morning his ‘on call duty’ was activated at about 7 am to a minor road north of the city. A tanker had left the road, split open and its load was rapidly killing all neighbouring vegetation, including winter wheat. An exclusion area was put in place and the duty Hazchem team from a chemical factory was summoned. The scene included several fire appliances plus various personnel in fully protective gear.
After about 3 hours of umming, ahh-Ing and analysis, down a side track came an elderly gentleman on a pushbike. Challenged by the officials he replied ( in a broad Norfolk accent) to the effect of ’ what’s all the fuss about, that’s the tanker delivering wine concentrate to the local (named) winery. It’s come from :fr:.
The said winery was a major producer of home kits at that time! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Anyone able to identify the grape variety for me? Small grapes with lots of seeds makes me think it is a vitis vinifera but no idea which one.

Anyway I harvested some bunches and made some very cloudy grape juice which looks awful and tastes delicious.


Perhaps bought from a garden centre? Labelled White Grape?

Looks like my Solaris used to. Solaris is thin skinned so prone to insect damage, but is easy to press.

Could also be a Bacchus, or Phoenix…although Phoenix us a tad ‘sharp’.
Thousands to choose from


Hi all. I’m about to embark on the first home winemaking experiment. As I have a Bach us vine in the garden that is too young to produce enough fruit I’d like to get some Bacchus juice or concentrate and use that so I know what I’m dealing with and can hopefully make a better wine when the vine is older. I have some second hand kit so two questions. Does anyone know where I can buy Bacchus juice and secondly an appropriate yeast?


A bit of advice required so I’m revisiting this thread

It looks like we’ll be moving house later this year (May / June if all goes well). Our vines were planted just over 2 years ago so have had 2 summers growth (one quite sparse, last year fairly prolific). They have been well tended and pruned as necessary

Can (or should) I dig up 2 year old vines, given that I’ve put a fair amount of love into them and the new house has a perfect location for them. What I don’t want to do is damage them in transit or by messing about with them. Initial thought is to prune again, dig up and pot while dormant and replant late autumn

Thoughts and advice appreciated!


Same as most deciduous shrubs Nick, dig up with as much root as practical and transplant into the biggest practical pot as you are not moving till June, taking out when in leaf you are taking a chance.
Leave in pot until late autumn and transplant again with as little disturbance to roots into new home, if you do that you should be allright.


I moved my vines, 20 Solaris. But I did it in the dormant season. Professional horticulturalist said it is not possible as the vines are deep rooting. However, a local Vineyard was more hopeful.
The technique was: early morning thoroughly soak the vines in situ; leave for one hour; dig up, and immediately wrap in wet newspaper; move to new site…in my case about 11 miles…; dig holes and fill with water; plant vines.
18 of the 20 survived.
But…May or June presents different problems as they will be in a rising sap period. Agreeing with @cerberus about the use of large pots, I would suggest that they are kept in a cool shady spot until the move…but dig them up by mid March.

Best of luck.


I had my first ‘go’ at home-made wine about three years ago. I have an allotment and had a huge surplus of gooseberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants for which I had no use. Somebody suggested wine. So wine it was! I bought all the equipment I needed. I had earlier saved my empty bottles from TWS.

I was well-satisfied when I pressed the final cork into the bottle. I’d forgotten all about this wine until I saw this thread on TWS chat page. So with great excitement, I took out a bottle of each of my wines. At this stage, I bet you’re waiting and possibly feeling jealous. But all three were absolutely disgusting! Never again.

Apparently, wine makes a reasonable fertiliser. So my next crop of gooseberries will be even bigger!


Thanks @cerberus, @Ludlow_Steve

Pretty much as I hoped then - dig up while dormant (probably around late Feb) and pot. I actually have a spare dustbin that should do the job. I’ll then keep fairly shaded and watered until ready to plant in the new garden in the autumn. They’ll be in the ‘pot’ for over 6 months but hopefully that won’t be too problematic with some care


Any chance the current owners might let you transplant to the new site now? Might be worth adking.

If I were selling my house and was asked the same question I’d happily agree to it.


That’s a good thought actually. Might not hurt to ask!


One last question - would you suggest to re-prune the vines (the idea being to make them more transportable) or leave alone? Potentially I could cut them back pretty hard and they’d be much easier to manoeuvre and store


It depends on how you have grown the vine, as a bush or on a cordon, if a bush it is fairly easy to cut back all the spurs to main stems same with a cordon but you have the framework to transport.
Dustbin ! May be a bit over the top, think of the weight that you have to move, you would need a forklift !
Better to get a 50 ltr plastic pot with handles as used for young trees.

If you can move in the dormant season great, but I expect that depends on you having exchanged contracts ?


Just a practical point - if you do use a dustbin, make sure to drill several good-sized holes in the base for drainage. Standing water in the bottom of a pot will kill roots.