Making Country Wines: Tips from the Pros

Did you ever think, “I’m sick of dealing with grapes! Finding them, transporting them, crushing them! It’s a hassle! I want something easier!” If you have, you’re in luck, because this issue’s

Keep it Clean

Cleaning and sanitizing is the boring, dull part of the process. Never mind that this is the most important part of winemaking. It is a lot like work, so let’s do it well and get back to having fun!

pHiguring out pH

Get an understanding of pH, why it’s important, how to measure pH, and how to correct it.


Best of Show

Why bother with wine competitions? It’s a fair question. Entering a competition means putting your wine up for evaluation against those of other winemakers, and that can be a bit daunting. Some

Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blueberry!

Americans love the taste of blueberries, and with good reason. Blueberries are uniquely American. Maybe that’s why I always think about blueberry wine when summer rolls around and I start planning Fourth

Blending Batches: Tips from the Pros

The moment of truth in winemaking often comes when you taste your wine to see how it turned out and you wish it could be just a touch better. Maybe the wine

Solving the Sulfite Puzzle

Let’s try to demystify sulfite by reviewing some fundamental chemistry. This will help us understand how sulfite protects wine and how much “free SO2” we are introducing into our wine.

Pruning Tips: Backyard Vines

To understand how pruning your backyard grapevines will affect growth, crop load and wine quality, you must first understand how grapevines grow in the wild. When vines sprout from seed, the vine

Sauvignon Blanc: Varietal Focus

During the mid 1980s in New Zealand, when the Cloudy Bay Winery captured the attention of the world marketplace with its version of Sauvignon Blanc, a new era was born. Today, many

2000 WineMaker Label Contest Winners

After crawling our way out of the large piles of boxes, envelopes and packages that have been collecting on the floor of the editorial department for the past two months, we managed

Put a Cork in It!

You’ve followed all the rules. From the arrival of the grapes through pressing, racking, aging and bottling, you have meticulously scrutinized every step of the winemaking process. Nothing has been overlooked in

Planning Your Backyard Vineyard

With all the excitement of harvest and crush in the air, it’s easy to forget about planting. But if you’d like to start a small, backyard vineyard next spring, there are some

Zinfandel: Varietal Focus

Learn about Zinfandel and find instructions to make Zin in three different wine styles.

Mastering Malolactic Fermentation: Tips from the Pros

Malolactic fermentation (MLF) may sound mysterious, but it’s a technique every home winemaker should master. It’s quite different from “regular” fermentation, in which yeast convert sugar into alcohol. MLF involves bacteria instead

Wooden it be Lovely?

One of the most enduring — and evocative — images in the winemaking world is that of the barrel room. Virtually every commercial vintner has one, and it’s among the “must sees”

From Grape to Glass

Nothing feels as satisfying and authentic as making your first batch of wine from fresh grapes. And there’s no better time to try it than in early autumn, when grapes all over

Finding Amazing Grapes!

The harvest came a little late that year. Having fully prepared myself by washing the equipment, buying additives and laying plastic sheeting all over the basement floor, I found myself glancing anxiously

The Strain Game

You need to select the right kind of yeast for the style of wine you want to make. Yet choosing the proper yeast should not be a daunting task — with proper planning it’s easy to achieve the desired results.

The Willamette way to world-class wine

Did you ever notice that California is hot? You know, that exasperating kind of hot that feels like it might actually singe your lungs? Well, that same heart-stopping heat is the foundation

Bottle Basics

It was the writer Mark Twain who phrased it best, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” What does this have to do with wine bottles?

Take a Sip of Strawberries

Make a tasty strawberry wine!

Great Gewurztraminer from Grapes

Why make a wine you can’t even pronounce? If you’ve ever tasted a Gewürztraminer, you already know the answer. At its finest, this most distinctive white wine has an exotic, spicy flavor

A Feast for the Season

  The poets speak of glad hearts, and the red tulips and blossoming trees leave no doubt. Spring is here! So are tender, fresh vegetables like baby asparagus, bell peppers, white corn

All Hail Cabs!

Most winegrowers and connoisseurs consider Cabernet Sauvignon the king of the red wines. Genetically, its parents are Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. The exact birth of Cabernet Sauvignon is lost in legend,

Anatomy of a Micro Vineyard

Since childhood, I had always been under the impression that there is no such thing as a good bottle of homemade wine. This was mostly due to the fact that every time