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There may not be a closer source than the one you gave above. I know many people here in the Seattle area that gleefully drive several hours over the mountains to pick up their grapes.

I have also heard that there are grape buying exchanges in NY city. Actually, quite a few of them due to the high concentration of Italian-Americans. But, most of those grapes are shipped from California.

I would do a little poking around. Some wineries will see grapes to homewinemakers, but most don't want to deal with the hassle. I would not look to wineries as your primary source of grapes unless you have an "in".

I'm not too fond of wine kits. As an experience homebrewer, you shouldn't have any trouble making the switch to wine. I did it after 10 years of homebrewing. If you are itching to get your feet wet in winemaking, then get a kit and go for it, but I would really gear up for next fall and get some real grapes. There isn't a kit out there that can compete with the real thing (if they grapes are good). In preperation, I would start reading some books. One of the best beginning books is Jeff Cox's "From Vine to Wine".

Let me know if you have anymore questions...
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