2023 Label Contest Winners

We received hundreds of entries into this year’s WineMaker Label Contest. It is time to reveal the winners.

World-Class Week in Bordeaux

We recap and share photos from a weeklong trip
WineMaker readers and Publisher Brad Ring spent visiting wineries and experiencing all that the famed French wine region of Bordeaux has to offer.

Let’s Start Making Wine

Are you or a friend new to the hobby of winemaking? Don’t worry — WineMaker’s Technical Editor Bob Peak is here to explain the basics of making wine from grapes, juices, and kits.

Craft Beer-Influenced Winemaking

A trend has emerged from the world of craft beer as some notable brewers have begun releasing wines. What sets these wines apart is an unusual approach of adding adjuncts and other techniques that are common in the world of beer. Learn what they are doing and how you, too, can make wine like a brewer.

High Rows, Full Hearts

WineMaker’s Associate Publisher Kiev Rattee traveled to a friend’s vineyard to help with the most recent harvest. There is something magical about being part of a team helping pick the grapes that will become our treasured vinous beverage.

Viticulture Tips

The 2023 growing season is just around the corner and it’s time to think about ways to improve your viticultural practices. Here are 10 tips every wine grape grower should be thinking about to get the best berries from their vines.

Notably Norton

A grape with a proud following regionally, Norton has roots that remain shrouded in a fog. Learn about its past, how to best tend to it in the vineyard, and bring out its bright qualities in the winery.

Oak-Aging Advice and Strategies for a Chaptalization Mistake

Maintaining wine while it ages in oak is an important task. Make sure you are taking the appropriate steps. Also, a winemaker can’t get their latest wine to start fermentation. The Wine Wizard unravels the mystery behind the unfermentable juice.

Live Chat with Phil Plummer

Live Chat with Phil Plummer that took place on December 21, 2022.

Red Bordeaux-Style Blends: Tips from the Pros

Three pros making high-end red Bordeaux-style blends share their advice on crafting these complex, elegant wines.

Live Chat with Chik Brenneman

Live Chat with Chik Brenneman that took place on November 30, 2022.

The Science of Winemaking

There is a lot of chemistry involved in winemaking — the better you understand it, the better chance you have of consistently making quality wine. Learn the role science plays and how to use it to your advantage when it comes to Brix, pH, titratable acidity, and more.

Protection from the Elements

Heat (protein) and cold (bitartrate) stability issues in wine cause off-putting aesthetic defects that are often brought to light after the wine is in the bottle and undergoes a temperature swing if not taken care of during bulk aging. Learn how (and if) you should take these heat and cold stabilization precautions at home.

Medal-Winning Dessert Kit Tips

Following the directions that come with your wine kit will result in very good wine, but sometimes experimenting is part of the fun. Three award-winning winemakers share how they go about making adjustments to dessert wine kits — a category of wine that works well with fortification and other tweaks.

Top 100 Wine Kits of 2022

More than 400 wines made from kits were judged at the 2022 WineMaker International Amateur Wine
Competition. Many received recognition; and here we share the 100 kit wines that performed best, according to the judging results.

Wine Pairing For the Holidays

A time for friends and family to gather and celebrate, the holiday season is best paired with good food and wine. Be sure you plan ahead to match the main course with the vino.

U.S. Tasting Team

October 2022, a team of four super wine-tasting women (who are also amateur winemakers) traveled to Champagne, France, along with their coach to compete against over 30 teams from various countries in order to find out who the best wine tasters are.

Verdant Verdejo

Spain’s fifth most planted white wine grape, Verdejo, enjoys warm climates while being able to retain some acidity. Learn the merits of this grape from the Iberian Peninsula and how to make the best wines with it.

Tasting Wine In Stages and Bottling Blues

As a winemaker evolves, learning how to evaluate their wine during different stages of maturation can be key. The Wine Wizard has some thoughts on what to expect when tasting wines at various young ages as well as kegging homemade wine.

Live Chat with Jef Stebben

Live Chat with Jef Stebben that took place on October 27, 2022.

Live Chat with Clark Smith

Live chat with Clark Smith, which took place September 28, 2022.

Microbial Stability

Chemical and microbial stability measures must be taken after fermentation but prior to bottle aging to protect the wine from contamination and subsequent off-aroma generation caused by microbial metabolism. Learn the most common methods for achieving microbial stability, both during aging in the cellar and at packaging.

Keys to Successful Fermentations

No two fermentations are the same, which means that there is always more to be learned with each one! Give your yeast the best chance for success by creating an ideal environment for a clean fermentation.

Whose Fault Was It?

Phil Plummer was one of the experienced judges at the 2022 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition. After three days of judging he found himself repeating similar comments on numerous entry sheets. Now he’s here to explain in greater depth the most common flaws he tasted and the techniques that can be employed to avoid them in your next vintage.

The Fruit of the Vine: Winemaking in Israel

Considered one of the great wine regions back in the days when Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is seeing a big comeback in recent decades. Get the scoop on the burgeoning commercial and hobby scene in this holy land.