Starting with my great-grandfather, my family has made their living as grape farmers in the northeastern part of the country.
The weather in this area is ideal for growing grapes.
The sub zero temperatures in the winter allow the plants to go dormant and rest. The rainy spring season and hot and humid summers encourage rapid growth and ripening. We farm approximately three hundred acres of grapes and sell them to make juice, jam and jelly. A few years ago, my dad and I decided to try wine-making. While the process is rather complex, labor-intensive and time-consuming, we really enjoy it. We managed to produce a very flavorful rose wine. Although we started out making just a few dozen bottles, our enterprise has steadily grown. It led us to getting licensed to commercially sell wine, and we’ve built a winery to facilitate the process. Aging the wine requires stable year round temperatures. We can’t allow the summer heat or freezing cold winters to affect the indoor environment. Since this is an emerging business with no guarantees of a profit, we didn’t want to invest a ton of money into a heating and cooling system. We looked for something affordable, compact yet powerful. After a whole lot of research, we decided to install a ductless mini split system. This has proven to be ideal. There is an outdoor compressor that links to an indoor air handler by way of a conduit. For the installation process, we only needed a small hole in an exterior wall. The air handler is mounted up high and provides both heating and cooling capacity. We have it programmed to maintain the perfect temperature and it automatically switches between heating and cooling as needed. If there’s any fluctuation in temperature, we get alerts via text message on our smartphones. This allows us to get repairs handled quickly, before there’s any damage to the wine.