Photograph: Piczo.

In Season In praise of the vineyard en ville.

In Season In praise of the vineyard en ville.

  • Words Stevie Mackenzie-Smith
  • Photography Marcus Schäfer / Trunk Archive and Piczo

Much of the wine we drink comes from grapes grown in vast vineyards across the Mediterranean, Australia and California. But a small movement of urban growers is proving that an inner-city parcel of land can make not only a worthy vineyard, but a defiant use of real estate, too. Happily, grapes like poor soil. “It is fortunate for mankind that the vine thrives on soil that is little good for anything else,” self-sufficiency pioneer John Seymour wrote in The Self-Sufficient Gardener. With a bit of elbow grease, even vacant lots can be put to use. 

In Morningside, Detroit, for example, the community and nonprofits have worked with local winery Detroit Vineyards to plant 1,000 vines in empty lots. When these cold-hardy red Marquette grapes are eventually pressed, the wine’s terroir ...

ISSUE 52

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