September 20, 2021

Brooklyn’s first rooftop vineyard

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Imagine growing a rooftop vineyard right in the center of Brooklyn. It might look complicated but it’s fascinating, right? Well, it happened in real, Devin Shomaker made it possible and founded Rooftop Reds. Devin wants to become the very first vintner to make a bottle of wine from rooftop grown grapes. He is so sure about his vineyard that he is betting his bottle for $1,000 to collectors.

About rooftop reds

New York City is famous for most expensive beverages and food in entire the country, but it came as breaking news when Devin announced a well-made bottle of wine worth $1,000 is ready. He expects the wine bottle to get recognition for its price. The growing of grapes is the first attempt ever in the world to create a commercially viable rooftop vineyard.

Devin Shomaker understood that Brooklyn is not a place where people would expect to have a vineyard. He got a better understanding of wine just by reading the science behind it, which lead him to get success from this nonconventional geography.

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The idea of the urban winery

Devin began to study viticulture in 2012 at Finger Lakes Community College, located in upstate, New York. It is one of the largest wine-producing regions in New York state. Even though Devin was surrounded by lakes, wine trails, and waterfalls, he still never quit thinking about New York City. He has always been keen about opening an urban winery, which is a common thing in cities nowadays. Urban wineries typically have the winemaking facility in the city, but they source grapes from existing wine regions. Brooklyn has opened several successful wineries within the past decade, including Brooklyn Winery and Red Hook Winery. But Shomaker’s vision went beyond, and now, Brooklyn vine will be making Brooklyn wine.

Rooftop vineyard

Though it was hard for Shomaker to convince his professors about this idea, he anyhow managed to do so. He worked hard to find a suitable space in NYC for his vineyard. The process of turning grapes into a bottle of wine for sale took more than four years; the first collection by Rooftops Red launched in the year 2019. Meanwhile, Rooftops Red was generating revenue by:

  • Tasting room that features wine with grapes sourced from other regions of New York State.
  • Hosting pop-up dinners, wine tours, yoga classes
  • They also rent out rooftop space for private events.

Though many New Yorkers have come to Rooftop Reds to sip wine, it could be a bit difficult to say that wine enthusiasts would want to spend $1,000 on a bottle of wine. But Shomaker does not worry about it at all. He is still pretty confident that wine from his Brooklyn vines deserves a premium cult-level price tag.

It is the coolest idea of cultivating a rooftop vineyard, but it took years of hard work and study for Devin to reach this point.

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