9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Advanced Tannin Management
Winery Manager & Winemaker, UC-Davis
“Varietal Focus” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine
Advanced Tannin Management – Managing tannins in your wine is one of the most important skills you need as a winemaker. Too much or too little in your wine results in obvious defects. Learn about ways to adjust your tannin levels with help from WineMaker Columnist Chik Brenneman of UC-Davis.
Winemaking Equipment TLC
President, Blichmann Engineering
Winemaking Equipment TLC – Many pieces of winemaking equipment are not used too frequently and a lack of proper care can cause big problems for your winemaking. Learn how to maintain and fix your winemaking so it is ready for your next batch. You’ll not only make better wine, but also extend the life of your equipment. Gear guru John Blichmann gives you the advice and tips you need to take the best care possible of your winemaking equipment.
Pruning for Success
Winemaker and Brand Ambassador, J Wilkes Wines
“Backyard Vines” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine
Pruning for Success – Grapevines require careful pruning to promote balanced growth and better fruit quality. Understanding the basic pruning styles, including cane pruning and spur pruning, and how to properly space shoots to gain the right amount of exposure to sun and air circulation in your home vineyard.
Award-Winning Dessert Wine Kits Roundtable
Award-Winning Dessert Wine Kits Roundtable – Listen in as top award winners from past WineMaker International Wine Competitions share their tips and secrets for making great dessert wine from kits. Find out from your fellow kit winemakers about their keys to success and techniques for creating your own delicious port-style and ice-style wines.
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Timing Decisions of MLF Additions
Director of Laboratory Operations, White Labs, Inc.
Timing Decisions of MLF Additions – There are many different thoughts about when you should you add your Malolactic bacteria during the fermentation process and what impacts on the final wine will be. Neva Parker of White Labs will walk you through the debate and give you advice on how best to decide when to introduce your ML culture to the party.
General Troubleshooting Q&A: Ask the Experts
General Troubleshooting Q&A: Ask the Experts – You’ve got winemaking questions? Our WineMaker Columnists have answers. Here’s your chance to figure out what went wrong with that last batch of wine or answer any other wine question from two of our columnists – Bob Peak and Chik Brenneman. Bob and Chik have decades of winemaking knowledge and will answer your winemaking questions as you also learn from the answers to your fellow attendee questions in this interactive session geared toward beginner and intermediate hobby winemakers.
Advanced Tips for Minimizing Oxygen
Advanced Tips for Minimizing Oxygen – Oxidation is one of the most common faults found in homemade wine. Oxygen can negatively impact your wine’s color, aroma, and flavor. Professional winemaking consultant Tom Payette will help you understand what you can do as a winemaker to take key steps and prevent or at least minimize the possibility of your wine becoming oxidized.
Award-Winning Red Blends Wine Roundtable
Award-Winning Red Blends Roundtable – Year after year the most popular categories in the WineMaker Competition are red blends. But getting just the right percentages to make a blend better and not worse than its parts is a real challenge. We’ve gathered fellow home winemakers who have recently make medal-winning wine blends to share their specific blending tips and techniques with you.
12:15 - 1:45 p.m.
Lunch & Keynote Address
Winemaker, South Coast Winery
South Coast Winery in Temecula has won the California Winery of the Year title from the California State Fair Wine Competition four times thanks to the efforts of their winemaker Jon McPherson. Before coming to South Coast he helped put another Temecula Valley winery – Thornton –on the map producing award-winning sparking wines. As one of the best known pro winemakers in the region, Jon will discuss the winemaking scene in Southern California.
2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Understanding, Testing & Adjusting pH
“Techniques” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine
Understanding, Testing & Adjusting pH– The more you understanding the role of pH in your homemade wine the better it will end up in the bottle. Learn why you should test for pH, how and when to test for pH, and what to when you need to tweak the numbers up or down you so you can produce the best wine possible.
Lees Techniques & Effects
President, Alexander Jules Import Company and Metrick Wines
“Advanced Winemaking” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine
Lees Techniques & Effects – When handled properly aging wine on the lees can give it more mouthfeel, body, and aromatic complexity. But you need to know the right ways to take full advantage of this traditional French technique of keeping your wine in contact with the lees. Learn the proper strategies and what wines will benefit the most from WineMaker’s “Advanced Winemaking” Columnist Alex Russan.
Grape Growing Q&A: Ask the Experts
Bring your best backyard grape growing questions to this session featuring viticulture experts Peter Brehm and Wes Hagen. They will field your growing questions for 75 minutes and help you troubleshoot your home vineyard problems as you learn from their decades worth of hands-on grape growing knowledge.
Founder, Ancient Fire Mead & Cider
Mead, or honey wine, is one of the oldest fermented beverages in civilization. Now with the help of commercial meadmaker Jason Phelps, this ancient drink can be a part of your regular winemaking. Learn how to make a variety of different style meads and leave with some award-winning tips to try at home.
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Side-by-Side Yeast Trials
Side-by-Side Yeast Trials – Join the staff from White Labs, San Diego’s own yeast and fermentation company, to explore the impact different yeast strains have in wine. You’ll have the opportunity to sample side-by-side wines made with the same base must but different strains as well as other yeast trials. You’ll gain a better understanding of how your yeast choices can impact the final wine in the glass.
6:30 - 10:00 p.m.
WineMaker Tasting & Wine Sharing Party
Pack up some of your favorite homemade wines for the conference because here’s a great chance to share wines and ideas with fellow hobbyists from across North America. Bring a bottle of your own wine to pour with fellow attendees and try someone else’s wine at our Wine Sharing area. Plus local Southern California commercial wineries will be pouring wines to sample. Add a buffet highlighting California foods and it is the perfect opportunity to get to know speakers and attendees as you talk winemaking all evening.