New York man creates rooftop winery in Brooklyn

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Lauren Glassberg has the story of a vineyard on a roof on the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Baby vines that will soon produce grapes are nothing unusual, but a vineyard on top a roof at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is pretty out of the ordinary.

"I have 405 babies on top of this rooftop, and they're all at different stages of their growth patterns," winemaker Devin Shomaker said.

Shomaker first started tinkering around with a rooftop vineyard three years ago, at his brother's roof in Windsor Terrace. Those vines are now producing grapes.

Shomaker studied winemaking in the Finger Lakes upstate, and he's currently growing grapes there for his wine company. But the city is where he really wants to set down roots.

"I'm much more of a city boy," he said. "And I love the urban agriculture expansion that is booking here in Brooklyn."

Shomaker wants to be a part of that expansion. His planters are designed for his vines and their urban existence. He said his 2-year-old vines are weeks away from being transplanted into urban planter boxes, "where they will remain for the rest of their growing lives."

The grapes from these vines will be harvested next October, and Shomaker hopes to make 75 cases, or about 900 bottles, of wine.

From grape to bottle, it will all happen on his rooftop. The company is clearly just budding - Shomaker even has his mom helping out - but Devin expects his business to go from one rooftop to many.

"The first true city vintage," he said. "Grapes grown in Brooklyn, wines produced in Brooklyn."
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foodwinewine industrysmall businessbrooklynBrooklyn Navy YardWindsor TerraceNew York City
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