Articles

Sur Lie Aging

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Aging wines on the lees can add aromatic complexity, soften tannins, enrich mouthfeel, protect it from oxygen, feed malolactic bacteria, and add longterm stability. Learn how to get the most from sur lie aging, and techniques for removing, storing, and reusing lees.


Rosehip Wine: My crown of thorns

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A common sight in the coastal communities throughout the northeastern part of the U.S. and Canada, rugosa roses produce a rosehip that is commonly made into jam. One adventurous spirit opted to try making wine with it.


Maturation Intervention

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No matter how much attention we give a wine, sometimes it will disappoint when tasted for the first time during aging. It may not be faulted, just lacking a desired characteristic. That’s when it is time to intervene. Qualities like flavor, aroma, body, color, or even tannins can all be improved with a little help.

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Pét Projects

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Pétillant-naturel sparkling wines — which are bottled prior to the conclusion of fermentation — are having a moment. Without any required riddling, disgorging, or extended aging, pét-nats are a perfect fit for home winemakers to try when getting into sparkling wines.

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7 Country Wine Recipes

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Fruit wines are generally the first thing to come to mind when we hear “country wine,” however the term is much more encompassing than that. We share seven recipes from Jack B. Keller Jr.’s new book release Home Winemaking: The Simple Way to Make Delicious Wine that illustrate just how broad an array of ingredients the term includes.

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The ABC’s of MLF

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If you make your own wine, no matter what kind, the concept of malolactic fermentation (MLF) should be well embedded in your mind. Learn some of the basics of MLF.


Bold Brianna: A strong and healthy grower

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Elmer Swenson’s grape breeding program has had a profound effect on the North American wine scene. One such grape to come from his program is Brianna, a grape that required an estimated 93 crosses to produce. Learn about this grape’s heritage as well as how to best work with it.

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Protecting Your Wine, Cap Temperature, Copper Sulfate Additions, and Carbonation Help

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Oxidation is one of the most common faults among homemade wines. The Wiz has some tips for minimizing exposure during racking along with advice for how to read fermentation temperature, reducing reductive stink with copper, and carbonating a dessert wine.

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Live Chat with Wes Hagen

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Video Live Chat with Wes Hagen, which took place on April 22, 2021.

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Live Chat With Four Award-Winning Amateur Winemakers

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Video Live Chat roundtable with four award-winning amateur winemakers, which took place on March 24, 2021.

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Master of Technology: Tips for taking your club virtual

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Everyone misses in-person wine events and club meetings. However, the rise of virtual event and gathering platforms comes with some unique benefits. One winemaking club offers advice to other clubs after a year of hosting virtual events and fun, virtual get-togethers.


Melon De Bourgogne: Or Muscadet or just plain Melon

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More commonly associated by the wine it produces, Melon de Bourgogne is the grape varietal behind Muscadet wines and the sur lie aging technique. But its mystique doesn’t stop there. Learn more about this old grape varietal known by many names.

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More Butter, Please; Caveats with Pectic Enzymes; and Wonky Grape Numbers

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Not everyone loves a buttery Chardonnay but for those that seek out this characteristic the Wine Wizard has some sage fermentation advice to achieve buttery bliss. Also, one reader wonders about adding pectic enzymes in a red wine and another is perplexed by the numbers in his recently purchased juice.

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The Role Of Nitrogen in Winemaking

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Learn about the fundamentals of nitrogen levels in your winemaking as well as how, when, and what additions are needed


The Role of Varietal Thiols in White Wines

FREE

Volatile thiols are delicate but powerful aromatic compounds released during fermentation. Through careful techniques and yeast selection, these thiols can be both preserved and enhanced to create an aromatic wine that pleases the senses.


Lifespan of a Wine Barrel

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Wine barrels are constantly changing. Each time one is filled it will lose some characteristics and, eventually after enough uses, it will go neutral. How you use a barrel should change over time also. 


Better Together: Creating Red Blends

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Early in my winemaking career I had the good fortune to work with one of the founders of Kenwood Vineyards, Mike Lee, who really knew how to blend wines to make them taste even better. Even though I was a rookie just out of school, he let me take part in blending trials tasting different

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Finding the Right Closure

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You have been diligent through every step of the process in making the best quality wine that is perfect for your palate. You have been a tireless caregiver, shepherding the growth and evolution of this living elixir for many months, even years, once you factor in bulk and possibly barrel aging, and it is finally

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Live Chat With Jason Phelps

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Video Live Chat with Jason Phelps, which took place on February 17, 2021.

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Pat Henderson’s Blending Spreadsheet

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This blending template was created by Pat Henderson and is available for download here:


Making Mozzarella: A primer on making cheese at home

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Making mozzarella is fast and easy once you get the hang of it. Here is an easy guide to get you going to mastering the art of making your own soft mozzarella. Your caprese salad will never be the same…


Ozone Sanitation and Filtering Facts

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Q I’ve heard that a lot of wineries are using ozone for their sanitation programs. I make about ten barrels of wine a year — should I buy an ozonator machine? Bernice MichelFillmore, California A Though ozone is an excellent tool for winery sanitation, the short answer is that unless you’ve got over fifty barrels

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Live Chat With Bob Peak

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Video Live Chat with Bob Peak, which took place on January 27, 2021.

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Making it Legal, Antique Grape Juice: Wine Wizard

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Q I have been making wine at home for the past five years and my friends tell me I am pretty good! They like my wine and I thought about starting to sell it at our local farmers’ market. My question is, when do I cross the line from being just a home hobbyist (which

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The Cozzarelli Legacy: A family steeped in winemaking

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Twenty years ago his dad was featured here in the pages of WineMaker magazine. But now that he has joined the ranks of home winemakers it’s his turn to talk about his drive to make his own wine.