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While it has become a trend—and a happy one at that—for entrepreneurs to grow food and plants on Brooklyn rooftops, one product this effort has not (until now!) produced is wine. Devin Shomaker founded the world’s first commercially viable rooftop winery in 2014, Rooftop Reds, and it happens to be located right here in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This year, 42 planters of Bordeaux Red varietals will start making dozens of cases of the world’s...
About a month ago, I climbed the steps to the roof of Buidling 275 at Brooklyn Navy Yard. Before me was a blinding white rooftop surface, populated with 42 rectangular planters, inside of which five varietals of Bordeaux red grapes grew. On the space's Eastern edge, a few picnic tables were shaded by a tent—necessary that day; the sun was direct and unrelenting—and Devin Shomaker, co-founder of Rooftop Reds, the world’s and therefore (probably) the galaxy's...
As Devin Shomaker and I pull up to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in his silver Kia, he starts pointing out what he is proudly calling "Alcohol Row." On the other side of Kings County Distillery, and high in the clouds with its neighbor, Brooklyn Grange, is where Shomaker spends most of his time tending his 200-plus grapevines for his new company called Rooftop Reds. "It's a thing, we're going to make it happen," he...
There've been a bunch of Brooklyn companies turning out great wine for a while now, but given how much of the borough is covered in pavement, their grapes are, by necessity, grown elsewhere. A new upstart called Rooftop Reds is looking to change that, and planted a "50-vine rooftop vineyard" in Windsor Terrace last spring to test the waters. It seems to have gone well, and they launched a Kickstarter to move operations to...

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