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New York rooftop vineyard plots first vintage

A vineyard planted on a rooftop in Brooklyn, New York, has said it plans to release the first vintage from its own grapes next year.

The New York vineyard, named Rooftop Reds, plans to release its first vintage from 1,400 square metres of vines in the Brooklyn Navy Yard industrial area in 2017.

It has previously made wine from grapes sourced in the Finger Lakes north-west of New York.

Founders said that they hope to ‘plant the seeds for the next generation of viticulture enthusiasts’ in New York State.

Cornell University researchers have helped develop an ecological urban planter system for growing the vines in soil that contains 40% recycled crushed glass.

This is ‘to replicate the conditions of poor soils that these grapes would traditionally be grown in’, according to co-founder Devin Shomaker.

rooftop red vineyards, new york vineyard

Rooftop Red vineyards sit in front of the New York skyline. Credit: Getty / AFP / Don Emmert

He added that he was inspired by the Brooklyn Grange Farms project that sees numerous beehives and other types of urban farming installed on Brooklyn rooftops.

The first vintage is expected to produce just 300 bottles, and will be made up of a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

Rooftop Reds was funded by a crowdsourcing campaign in 2013 and via direct investment from a Finger Lakes winery, Point of the Bluff.

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