Backyard Vines Bonus Questions

What’s the best way to cure black rot? Jake in Eastern Kentucky     I wish I could tell you that there’s a cure for black rot, but the best we can do

Maintaining Fermentation Temperatures

When Ray Charles and Betty Carter sang the definitive version of Frank Loesser’s song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” it’s a pretty sure bet that home winemaking was the last thing on their

Los Cinco Locos: Dry Finish

It’s a sunny Wednesday morning in Montecito. And in a home nestled off a quiet tree-lined street, a bunch of wacky guys are making wine. They call themselves Los Cinco Locos. The

Oak Alternatives

A song to the oak, the brave old oak, Who hath ruled in the greenwood long; Here’s health and renown to his broad green crown, And his fifty arms so strong. There’s

Dry Finish: Twin-Inspired Vines

Last year, WineMaker held its annual label-making contest for home winemakers.  Some of the submissions were comical, some were incredibly artistic, and some left the judges’ glasses half-empty.  In the end, few

Closures: Wine Kits

I recently had the opportunity to visit Portugal, magical land of Mateus, Port and home of 80% of the world’s cork supply. While it was a pleasure trip, I had time to

Zinfandel to Zinfromhell

I have a confession: my father was a life-long university chemistry professor who was never proud of his eldest son’s chemistry grades. Sure, I could play “Chem-O” with the best of them!

Ten Signs of a Healthy Vineyard

A healthy backyard vineyard is a treasure. It can produce delicious wine, serve as a wonderful setting from which to appreciate the miracles of nature and offer a leafy refuge from the

Edelweiss: Varietal Focus

Edelweiss is best known as the European mountain flower with a pleasing floral scent. The 1959 Rogers and Hammerstein musical, “The Sound of Music,” immortalized the Edelweiss flower as Captain Georg Ritter

10 Great Gadgets

10 items that will make your home winemaking more enjoyable. From old mechanical stand-bys to new computerized state-of-the-art doo-dads, here’s a list that every gadget junkie will want to ponder.

How to Make 10 Classic Wines

Most books about home winemaking feature sections on “Making Red Wine” and “Making White Wine.” But when real, live vintners, amateur or professional, clean out their fermenters and get down to business,

10 Tips for Country Winemaking

In the beginning, there was wine . . . just wine. There wasn’t “wine” (made from grapes) and “country wine” (made from fruits other than grapes). A pomegranate wine is mentioned in

DD Ranch Cellars: Dry Finish

My husband Dene and I fall into the category of gourmet food aficionados. We started raising cattle after moving to our place 40 miles northeast of Denver, Colorado and got our first

Growing Organic Grapes: Tips from the Pros

David Koball, Vineyard Manager at Bonterra Vineyards in Hopland, California. David has been growing winegrapes in Mendocino County in California for 14 years, all of it in certified Organic and Demeter certified

Grandfather’s Recipe: Dry Finish

In 1955, at age five, my grandparents taught me to make French/German/Native American mead wine. After finishing two days of hot grueling work canning fruit, Grandpa asked me if, “I could keep

Big Kits

“Quantity has a quality all of its own.” -R K Ratch Someone once said, “good things come in small packages.” I’m pretty sure this was a shopkeeper who sold very small consumer

10 Tips for Going Pro

Pro winemakers share their best advice for amateurs looking to make the leap.

Calibrate your Winemaking Tools

Your hydrometer shows that your must has a specific gravity of 1.100 – but how do you know that’s accurate? Learn how to calibrate your hydrometer and all your winemaking tools, so you can be sure.

2007 Label Contest Winners

It may be plonk, but – our grand prize winner shows – that doesn’t mean the label can’t be cool. See all the winners of WineMaker’s annual label contest.

Epiphany: Dry Finish

Call it a midlife crisis before mid-life, but at the age of 29 I was four years out of graduate school and faced with the prospect of working 30 years at a

Blending Red and White: Tips from the Pros

You know from art class that red and white make pink, but is the same true for wine? Often rosès and blush wines are made from red grapes that are briefly exposed

A Clearer Understanding of Fining Agents

The first thing you notice when someone hands you a glass of wine is its color and clarity. We all expect wine to look clear and appealing and there are many ways

Purple Grin Winery: Dry Finish

Overlooking the San Pasqual Valley is our winery, established solely for the enjoyment of friends and family. Designed to make the best of our 200-gallon allowance, the 303 Syrah vines entertain drivers-by

Separating press runs: Tips from the Pros

Are press cuts scientific or subjective? What about combining the free run with the press runs? Do different cuts get different treatments? If you’ve ever wondered about concerns like these, take some

Harvest Planning

For winemakers, grape harvest is a period of intense activity. Important decisions and preparations need to happen well in advance of crush day in order for things to go smoothly. These decisions