Conference

Friday, May 17, 2019 WineMaker Conference Schedule

9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

MANAGING TANNINS 
Bob Peak
Technical Editor and “Techniques” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine
How can a winemaker know there is enough tannin structure to their wine without overdoing it? Are there techniques and strategies a winemaker can use to better control tannin levels in a finished wine? Learn the important keys to managing this important component to great wine from WineMaker’s Technical Editor Bob Peak.

 

KEYS TO CRAFTING GREAT RIESLINGS
Sean O’Keefe
Winemaker, Mari Vineyards
The Traverse area is known for producing internationally-recognized Rieslings and we’re lucky to have one of the region’s top Riesling experts join us to share his winemaking strategies for this grape. Sean O’Keefe has made Riesling professionally most of his life on the Old Mission Peninsula and studied Riesling techniques extensively while earning a winemaking degree in Germany. Learn his favorite ways to produce your own memorable Rieslings at home.

ADVANCED TROUBLESHOOTING Q & A
Chik Brenneman
Winery Manager & Winemaker, University of California-Davis
“Varietal Focus” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine

 

Alex Russan
President, Alexander Jules Import Company & Metrick Wines
“Advanced Winemaking” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine
 
 
 

Home winemakers have lots of questions and many can get quite technical with so much science involved in winemaking. Here’s your chance to get as geeky as you want and ask two of our experts – Chik Brenneman and Alex Russan – your most puzzling winemaking questions as you also learn from the answers to your fellow attendee questions in this session geared towards experienced winemakers.

CANOPY MANAGEMENT

Wes Hagen
Winemaking and Brand Ambassador, J. Wilkes Wines
“Backyard Vines” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine
Figuring out how much to shade or expose your backyard grapes to direct sunshine will determine the ultimate quality of the fruit you will end up harvesting. Learn about the keys to properly managing your vineyard’s leafy canopy with former professional Vineyard Manager and WineMaker’s “Backyard Vines” Columnist Wes Hagen.

10:45 – 11:15 AM

WINEMAKER EXHIBITS – Check out the latest in winemaking equipment, gear, ingredients, and supplies from dozens of the hobby’s top vendors.

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

KEYS TO A GREAT FERMENTATION
Chik Brenneman
Winery Manager & Winemaker, University of California-Davis
“Varietal Focus” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine
How exactly can you get those bubbles going without trouble and avoid the dreaded stuck fermentation in your next batch of wine? Learn the most important keys to keeping your yeast happy and healthy throughout fermentation resulting in a clean wine with no unexpected yeast off-odors or flavors from University of California-Davis’ Winery Manager and WineMaker Columnist Chik Brenneman.

PREVENTING OXIDATION
Alex Russan
President, Alexander Jules Import Company & Metrick Wines
“Advanced Winemaking” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine
Oxidation is one of the most common faults found in homemade wine. Oxygen can negatively impact your wine’s color, aroma, and flavor. WineMaker’s “Advanced Winemaking” Columnist and professional winemaker Alex Russan will help you understand the harmful impact of oxidation on your wine and what you can do as a winemaker to prevent or at least minimize the possibility of your wine becoming oxidized.

AWARD-WINNING HYBRID GRAPE WINE ROUNDTABLE
More and more hybrid grape varieties are being released resulting in a boom of new winemaking opportunities in cool-climate regions of the US and Canada. But making wine from hybrid grapes is not always the same as vinifera grapes with lower tannins, higher acidity, and lower sugar levels as a rule. We’ve gathered fellow home winemakers who have recently made award-winning wines from hybrid grapes to share their hybrid-specific tips and techniques with you.

WINEMAKING WITH CHERRIES
Brian Hosmer
Winemaker, Chateau Chantal
If you arrive in Traverse City by plane, you instantly grasp how important a certain red fruit is to this region when they name their airport “Cherry Capital”. The Traverse region is internationally known as one of the best locations to grow cherries and you’ll see acres of orchards during your winery touring in the area. Local wineries have perfected winemaking using these local cherries in addition to their lineup of grape wines. Learn from Chateau Chantal winemaker Brian Hosmer how cherries can be crafted into a broad variety of wines from big dessert ports all the way to sparkling sippers.

12:30 – 1:45 PM

LUNCH
The Traverse region is known as one of the nation’s leaders in the farm to table movement and you’ll enjoy a lunch highlighting locally grown food and regional specialties. Plus this lunch will be your first chance to share some of your own wine with other attendees to get feedback and get to know each other.

1:45 – 2:15 PM

WINEMAKER EXHIBITS – Check out the latest in winemaking equipment, gear, ingredients, and supplies from dozens of the hobby’s top vendors.

2:15 – 3:30 PM

USING OAK ALTERNATIVES
Bob Peak
Technical Editor and “Techniques” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine
Many hobby winemakers prefer to out the oak into their wine instead of putting their wine into oak. Learn the different options available from chips, beans, spirals, and staves as well as the methods available to you when using oak alternatives. Find out how to best get oak qualities in your next batch of wine without using a barrel.

 

 

MAXIMIZING RED WINES FROM COOL CLIMATE GRAPES
Sean O’Keefe
Winemaker, Mari Vineyards
Making red wines from cool-climates grapes can sometimes be challenging with lower tannin and sugar levels often a posing a hurdle from Mother Nature with the shorter and cooler growing season. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it or shouldn’t try if you know the right techniques and tricks to get the most character from those red grapes. Sean O’Keefe makes his living creating a lineup of complex red wines in northern Michigan that many find surprising and he’ll teach you some of the steps he takes to maximizing the potential of his cool-climate grown red wines.

 

GRAPE GROWING Q & A
Peter Brehm
President, Brehm Vineyards

 

Wes Hagen
Winemaking and Brand Ambassador, J. Wilkes Wines
“Backyard Vines” Columnist, WineMaker Magazine
 

Bring your best backyard grape growing questions to this session featuring viticulture experts Peter Brehm and Wes Hagen. They will field your questions for 75 minutes and help you troubleshoot your home vineyard problems as you learn from their decades worth of hands-on grape growing knowledge.

WINE KIT TWEAKS OUTSIDE THE BOX 
Pamela Zorn
Owner, Wine and Whey
Just because wine kits provide a clear and easy way to make great wine doesn’t mean you can’t branch out and tweak kits to make them even more personalized. Join winemaking retailer Pamela Zorn as she helps you explore the fun and creative ways you can experiment with wine kits and try out different yeast strains, blending, and trying out different aging techniques including small barrels. Learn how to get even more out your kit winemaking.

3:30 – 4 PM

WINEMAKER EXHIBITS – Check out the latest in winemaking equipment, gear, ingredients, and supplies from dozens of the hobby’s top vendors.

4 – 5 PM

WINEMAKER WORKSHOP: BENCH TRIALS  
Brian Hosmer
Winemaker, Chateau Chantal
Local professional winemaker Brian Hosmer of Chateau Chantal will guide you through the process of better understanding different wine components including acidity, tannins, and sugar and how to properly conduct bench trials so you can adjust and tweak your homemade wines. Accurately using trials will mean better end results with your full batch and understanding the impact of additions and blending will make you a more skilled winemaker.

6:30 – 10 PM

WINEMAKER TASTING & SHARING PARTY  
Pack up some of your favorite homemade wines for the conference because here’s a great chance to share wines and ideas with fellow hobbyists from across North America. Bring a bottle of your own wine to pour with fellow attendees and try someone else’s wine at our Wine Sharing area. Plus local Traverse Wine Coast commercial wineries will be pouring wines to sample. Add a buffet highlighting northern Michigan foods and it is the perfect opportunity to get to know the region’s wine scene and spend time talking wine with speakers, local winemakers, and attendees.