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Sweetening Wine Without Refermentation

Unfortunately, there are only so many options for preventing fermentation in sweet wines and they all involve some degree of sacrifice or difficulty. The list of “cons” is long compared with the

Vineyard Trellis and Training

There are several options available to a backyard grape grower when considering which trellis configuration and which training system to use. How do we focus on what’s important in a trellis and

Sluggish Fermentations — Cabernet Franc

See my response here regarding general information about stuck and sluggish fermentations. Your wine is a lot closer to dryness (essentially 0 °Brix) than the previous reader’s sweetest lot, so I don’t

In the Wine Lab

As a home winemaker, testing your wine for certain things like Brix and pH are critical, while other tests are optional. Get to know the equipment you really need, what the equipment does, and how much it costs.

Battling VA

It sounds like you took the right approach. A VA (volatile acidity) of 0.70 is not “out of this world” high, though it is a little elevated. Especially if this was a

Using Inert Gases in Winemaking

Blanket, flush, sparge, transfer, dispense. To exclude air while doing any of these things to your wine, your best bet is the use of an inert gas. Learn some your options and tricks.


In the 1960s, Viognier seemed to be an endangered grape, planted only in dwindling numbers in a pair of obscure redoubts in France, the shrinking Condrieu region and the one-winery Château-Grillet AOC.

Unoaked Wine Kits

Not using oak on wine is a time-honored tradition for many varietals and styles, and often for good reason. There are few things as disconcerting and deeply weird as a heavily oaked

Managing Acid in Fruit Wines

Grapes want to be wine. That may be oversimplified, but the fact is that the vast majority of commercial wines — and most homemade wines — use winegrapes as their base. The

Making Wine In A Limited Space

For many home winemakers, space — or the lack of it — is the final frontier, the one thing holding their winemaking aspirations back. See how some home winemakers have dealt with this problem.

Strawberry Wine Color Question

Certainly feel free to experiment with food coloring in your strawberry wine but be sure to keep it food-grade and keep it modest to maintain the color within the realm of believability.

Sugar Options For Fruit Wine

Cane sugar, or sucrose, derived from the sugar cane plant, has a chemical structure of C12H22O11, is a di-saccharide comprised of the mono-saccharides glucose and fructose and is found in many plant

Oak Chip Recommendations For Chardonnay

First, make sure that the portion left over, i.e. the portion you are not bottling now and will be adding more oak to, will be stored in a completely full (or “topped

Winemaking From Frozen Must

It seems a short time ago when, if you wanted to make wine, you waited for the fall harvest season when grapes would start arriving from the West Coast. Everyone would be

Metatartaric Acid In Wine Kit

Your question about metatartaric acid is a good one and one that brings to mind similar confusion and questions many of us have when faced with a litany of fining agents (and

Pinot Noir

While traveling recently in the Burgundy region of France, it was easy to see why the world loves Pinot Noir. It is the only red grape grown in that region, and the

Canadian Clubs: Dry Finish

  If winemaking appeals to you and you live in Ontario, the Amateur Winemakers of Ontario (AWO) may be just what you’re looking for. AWO is the umbrella organization of 33 independent

Making the Most of Your Winery Visit

 Heading to wine country is a field trip for adults. You’ve got beautiful scenery, interesting people, new beverages to enjoy and an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of

Making the Most of Your Winery Visit

  Heading to wine country is a field trip for adults. You’ve got beautiful scenery, interesting people, new beverages to enjoy and an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle

Quick Drinking Wine Kits

In this article I’ll be discussing “vinfanticide,” which is wines to drink on bottling day (or before). And in the next issue I’ll cover super-early drinking wines (under three months of age).

Young Wine Kits: Wine Kits

  Back in the April-May 2002 issue of WineMaker I wrote an article about picking the right wine kit. The McGuffin of the article was the idea that there was a right

Orange County Competition: Dry Finish

On June 9th, members of the Orange County Wine Society (OCWS) gathered at oh-dark-thirty at the Orange County Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, California for our 36th annual Homewine Competition,

Chocolate Wine

So you want to put some chocolate flavor, texture and aroma into your wines, eh? My approach would definitely be to use the chocolate grace-notes as an ending treatment to your wine,

Choosing the Right Fermenter

When setting out to make wine from grapes, one of the first major decisions is what you will use as a fermentation container. For most winemaking, you will need a primary fermenter

Adding Copper

As you’ve probably read in my columns and in the Winemaker’s Answer Book, though I like to “let wine be what it will be,” when it comes to potentially toxic things like

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