NAVY YARD — A first-of-its-kind rooftop vineyard opened in the Brooklyn Navy Yard this spring — and visitors might get to sip homemade wine while swinging from a hammock nestled among the vines.
Rooftop Reds is "the world’s first commercially viable urban rooftop vineyard," according to co-founder Devin Shomaker, who started the venture in 2013 by harvesting 50 vines of Bordeaux grapes on his brother's rooftop in Windsor Terrace.
The vines, which were planted in large plastic pails, survived the winter and flourished.
Last year, Shomaker hosted a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $16,000 to harvest a vineyard atop a temporary rooftop in the Navy Yard and again found success with his new nursery of 220 vines.
Rooftops Reds found a permanent location on the 14,000-square-foot rooftop at Building 275. Shomaker plans to host wine-and-cheese tasting events, movie nights and "Hammock Happy Hours" at the location, pending approval of several city agencies including the Public Design Commission and the Department of Small Business Services.
If approved, small public events would take place Wednesday through Friday at the vineyard, according to Rooftop Reds' website.
Wine from other vineyards would be served until the first the first produced from Navy Yard-grown vines is ready for distribution by 2017, Shomaker said. The company might reportedly expand to other rooftops in the city in the future.
“The Brooklyn Navy Yard will be home base,” Shomaker told The Wall Street Journal, “but there is no shortage of rooftops.”
The Public Design Commission and the Department of Small Business Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment.