My friend Teresa did the impossible. She planted eight grape vines in her backyard in Arlington, Mass., harvested the fruit and turned it into about 10 oz. of wine. It has to be one of the smallest batches of wine ever produced.
The grapes she used were Leon Millot, which are a red variety suited to growing in this New England climate. Her neighbor, Frank, had experience with vineyards in Italy and pruned the vines for her.
Teresa picked the grapes and then popped them open, using a spoon over a strainer, at her kitchen counter. The crushed grapes fell into a plastic container, stems, seeds, skins and all. She then covered the container with gauze (usually we use cheesecloth, but she didn’t have any on hand, and gauze seemed appropriate for this baby batch).
The grapes fermented for about three days (usually they ferment for about 10 days). The juice was then bottled in an air-tight glass container.
Teresa invited Frank and I over to taste the wine a few weeks ago. Ordinarily you’d wait, at least until December, before tasting the wine but Teresa grew impatient and was eager to test the fruits of her labor.
The wine was surprisingly good: a bit sweet and yes, a little young, but still delicious and made more precious because of how little there was.