Viticulture and downtown urban vineyards

With new emphasis on locavorism and sustainable living, urban farming is on the rise. Vacant land re-use can include not only urban gardens, but also urban vineyards with micro-appellations. The crop has a clear ROI, making it a potential project for other urban land revitalization efforts. With New York’s wine industry, this might be a great fit for a New York project. City Winery is a great example in Manhattan. They found a trendy niche and have just expanded to Chicago.

Several urban vineyards have sprouted across the country, such as Harrington Wines in San Francisco, Chateau Hough in Cleveland and Harness Creek Vineyards in Maryland. A commercial venture in London, Forty Hall Vineyards, was a joint venture between a farm and a local horticulture college. A blog article on Food Republic listed its “Top 10 Urban Wineries in America:”

  • Gruet Winery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Henke Winery, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Enso Winery, Portland, Oregon
  • Red Hook Winery, Brooklyn, New York
  • A Donkey and Goat Winery, Berkeley, California
  • Times Ten Cellars, Dallas, Texas
  • Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, California
  • City Winery, Manhattan, New York
  • Grouchau Cellars, Portland, Oregon
  • Cadence Winery, Seattle, Washington

Innovation also adds to the success of these new ventures. Vineyard Electronics is a trellis – tension measuring technology that tells the vinter when to irrigate, thin a crop, schedule harvest time, and predict the number of oak barrels and empty labeled bottles will be needed. The software was developed by Julie Tarara in Washington. This software helps less experienced grape growers optimize their grape production for higher quality wine products. Technology can substitute for experience and shorten the learning curve for industry newcomers.