I put this question out for general contemplation and discussion. Most of us who are interested in growing wine using grape varieties suited to the continental-climate areas of North America think in commercial terms - and while this is certainly necessary, I frequently ask whether to actually get a "wine consciousness" rooted in our wider culture it might in fact be necessary to plant the seed, as it were, at a more fundamental level: the family garden / homestead.
Obviously, a great many people do not have the right kind of yardspace, or even enough space, to plant a family vineyard ... but no doubt many others do. When you think of how ingrained wine is throughout Italy, for example, where even small vineyard plots are such a regular motif across the landscape and therefore have a place in the wider culture, the question becomes obvious for us in North America: how to replicate that here?
The great challenge has until now been the unavailability of wine grapes that can thrive in our overall continental climate: vinifera is just too tender and disease-prone to serve as the main material for a North American wine culture outside of dedicated zones of production where the necessary complications are taken in stride - e.g. grafting to rootstock, spraying, applying winter protection, etc. What is really needed here in our continent are vines that will tough it out with minimal fuss: vines that your average family can stick in the ground, prune, have fun watching them grow, and then harvest the fruit and, one would imagine, make wine for their own use.
And so the question, therefore, is whether the popularization of wine as a cultural motif - something that really hasn't happened in our continent on a wide scale the way other things have been popularized in the wider culture - could take place given the right focus ... Suitable new-generation grape varieties are becoming an ever more real option, and present exciting possibilities for the identity wine in modern North America.