WineMaker News Page

Updated August 28, 2019

The Maceration Accelerator

While this piece of news is really more for the bigger commercial winemakers, we thought it interesting enough to share with winemakers of all sizes. A new machine, the Della Toffola Maceration Accelerator or DTMA, reduces maceration time by up to 50% while simultaneously improving the extraction of polyphenols and anthocyanins. The maceration accelerator effectively shreds the skin of the grape while not shredding the seeds. The process known as Accentuated Cut Edge (ACE) maceration has been the focus of Dr. Angela Sparrow’s studies, helping lead to this new technology. For more on her research, you can visit:

Intense European Heat Waves Strike

Europe underwent the most intense heat waves on record during the summer of 2019. New all-time high temperature marks were recorded across the continent including France, Belgium, and Germany. At the time of production of this issue, it was still too early to be sure, but estimates were that the wine grape harvest in France would be down 6–13% according to their agriculture ministry. Along with other mitigating factors, expected harvest forecast predicts France’s grape harvest to be the lowest in at least 5 years, if not more.

Traverse City Wines Score Big

While this story would possibly have been more of interest to our readers and Conference goers one or two issues ago, Wine Enthusiast magazine in their July 2019 issue, rated and reviewed over 100 wines from the Traverse City, Michigan area and an astounding 65 of those wines scored between 87–91 points, on par with regions such as New Zealand, Washington, Oregon, and Spain. Make note to seek out a bottle or mark it on your destination map, because the region won’t be unknown for long. Learn more at

Western Grape Growers

Wine climatologist Gregory Jones from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon has just released his June 2019 assessment with a post-mortem breakdown for May weather conditions and his outlook for June and beyond. If you are a grape grower in the western states, you should probably give his report a read here:

Health Benefits of Red Wine

Time magazine in April published an article worthy of sharing with WineMaker readers. The author looked at some of the latest studies surrounding whether red wine is beneficial for consumers. The article touched on the beneficial components such as the high phenolic levels in red wine and their related antioxidative properties. But it was also noted that there may be lifestyle choices that wine drinkers make, such as being more social and more apt to eat healthy, that could be equally beneficial. What the author concludes is that there may be several reasons overall that make drinking wine in moderation may be beneficial. It was also inconclusive that red wine is actually healthier than white wine. To read more visit

New Products

Mini FerMonster™

The FerMonster™ family just got bigger and welcomes two new members! The Vintage Shop now has the 1- and 3-gallon (3.8-L and 11.4-L) wide-mouth fermenters. Just like their older brothers, 6- and 7-gallon (23-L and 26.5-L) FerMonsters™, these non-ribbed, PET food-grade material fermenters are easy to clean and use and are perfect for small-batch fermentations or trials. These are nearly impermeable to oxygen penetration and almost impossible to break. Several add-ons are available such as carriers and solid lids. To learn more visit:

Artisanal Small-Batch Brewing

For those looking to explore the world of fermentation outside of the grape world, herbalist Amber Shehan has written a book promoting small-scale wine, cider, mead, and beer brewing. Focusing on recipes and exploration, small-scale batches allow those looking to experiment with these unique alcoholic beverages a great opportunity to begin. The book is split into five groupings: Mead, country and fruit wines, ciders, beer/gruit, and finally other-recipe types. Check with your favorite local or online bookseller for more info.

Got Brix?

A newly released winemaker’s management software tool that has been designed to track several aspects of batch production including processes, notable events, inventory along with their associated dates, measurements, and costs. Special features such as estimators, calculators, converters, and text and/or email reminder alerts enhance your winemaking experience by providing a customizable experience. Reporting allows you to see the progress of current batches and view historical data of archived batches. After bottling a batch of wine Got Brix? automatically adds it to your personal cellar tracker alongside your entire wine collection. For more information visit

Upcoming Events

October 19

Entry deadline for the American Wine Society (AWS) 2019 Amateur Wine Competition. The cost is $25 (AWS member) / $35 (non-member) per entry. For more information about entering your wines, ciders, and meads, visit:

November 8

Entries from all regions for the 46th Annual US Amateur Winemaking Competition will be accepted from October 1 through November 8. Judging will be held November 16. The entry fee is $20 per bottle and payment can be made online. Prizes will be awarded for winners, and all of the score sheets will be mailed to participants. More information is available on the web at

February 14, 2020

Tennessee Viticultural and Oenological Society (TVOS) Amateur Wine Competition entry deadline is February 14th, 2020. Rules, fees, and all entry information at American Wine Society judges will be judging the competition and awards are presented at the Annual Conference March 14th.

May 28-31, 2020

In case you haven’t heard yet, WineMaker is pleased to announce the location of our 13th Annual Conference: San Luis Obispo, California. The 2020 WineMaker Conference will be located near the heart of Paso Robles wine country. Early-bird registration to save $100 is now open.