BROOKLYN NAVY YARD — It's Napa Valley on the East River.
The first-of-its-kind 14,000 square-foot rooftop vineyard on a Brooklyn Navy Yard building is nearly open for business a year after raising nearly $17,000 on Kickstarter.
The growers will start hosting events on the rooftop in August, including a "hammock happy hour" every Wednesday through Friday.
Rooftop Reds started growing its urban vintage on top of the Navy Yard Building in 2014 with more than 400 vines. The growers used special planters with ultra-light soil and about 40 percent crushed glass to make quality grapes.
"We're really excited to have our first crop next year and show people what we've accomplished," founder Devin Shomaker said while giving a tour of the rooftop Wednesday.
Shomaker came up with the idea for the vineyard while studying viticulture and wine making in the Finger Lakes region.
He enlisted the help of winemakers Evan Miles, Chris Papalia and his brother, Thomas Shomaker.
The group first tested out their growing operation on Thomas' rooftop in Windsor Terrace in 2013, where they planted 50 vines of red Bordeaux varietals.
The first harvest is planned for October 2016, with the initial vintage slated to be sold in autumn 2017.
Rooftop is partnering with Finger Lakes vineyard Point of the Bluff to produce the first batches.
Bluff winemaker Michael Countryman said abundant sunshine and rich soil will make for good wine production.
The grapes get most of their nutrients from the top six inches of the soil, Countryman explained, and the sunshine will provide extra nutrients that might be found in deeper soil.
Shomaker will eventually move a 400-gallon tank onto the roof for fermentation with the hope of eventually producing 200 to 300 cases of wine.
While their rooftop wines will not be available until 2017, the Finger Lakes-produced wines are available now in a few select Brooklyn stores listed on their website.
"I think this is a really intimate way to open up our business," Shomaker said.