Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Watching Your Adopted Grapes Grow

So I was catching up on my blog reading over the weekend, and went to visit the Winehiker and a nifty little icon caught my eye. I clicked on it and it led me to a site called Adopt A Grape.

It may be the coolest site I've found in a long time. And what a great concept! It's meant to help consumers like you and me learn more about the process of making wine--from budbreak to barrel aging. No money changes hands; this adoption is all about feeling a sense of connection to a particular grape varietal in a particular vineyard. It's packed with video clips, timelines that let you know just where the grapes are in the growing cycle, and you can leave comments and questions, too.

I'm not sure who the genius was behind this, but the owners of the vineyards are Duane and Susan Hoff of Fantesca Vineyards, the folks who also dreamed up Fortune Corkies, blog about their experiences, and in general get what wine 2.0 is all about. All the grapes up for adoption are from their Spring Mountain vineyards in Napa Valley. When you sign up to adopt a grape, all you have to do is select a user name, a password, and enter your zip code. Then you are presented with some options of grapes for adoption. Once you adopt a grape, you will receive updates with pictures and information about the grape's progress.

I had the choice of adopting some cabernet grapes, or some petite verdot. Of course, I picked petit verdot (how could I not, after loving the Escafeld PV so much?). Here is a picture of the location where my adopted petit verdot grapes are now growing and, according to the August 15 report, beginning to take on some color or veraison. And also a picture of the vineyard taken a bit closer up.

Adopting a grape is a whole lot of fun--and it's free. In our hectic, modern, faster- than-the-speed-of-light lives, it's nice to be connected to something that moves more slowly, and that we can't control. I can sit by my computer, batting out emails and answering the phone, knowing that somewhere to the north the sun is ripening petite verdot grapes. And when they're harvested, I'll be among the first to know. Thanks to Russ the Winehiker who found this treat, posted the icon on his site, and got me hooked!


Richard Auffrey said...

This is a great idea! I adopted some Cabernet.

MonkuWino said...

Pretty nifty idea! I adopted cabernet in block 3. I hope it does not get trampled by Vayniacs. ; )

duane said...


I am glad you like the site! Your PV is handling the hot weather pretty well, although it sucking down the water. That doesn't hurt the fruit at this stage. Now if it is still this hot two weeks from now, I will be singing a different song.

All the best,


Duane Hoff, Adopt a Grape

Dr. Debs said...

Glad you both liked it, Richard and Monkuwino. It's fun! And thanks, Duane for the status report--and for the great site. Good luck with the rest of harvest.

Escafeld Vineyard Diary said...

Great choice with the PV Dr. Debs!