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Gewürztraminer

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Alsace vineyards are tucked into the predominantly east facing slopes of the Vosges Mountains . . .

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Soapy Taste In Wine

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Though tough to define as it can smell different to everyone, there is unfortunately no wine lab analysis panel you can run that says, “Yessir, you’ve got an over-abundance of Ivory Soap Flakes on your hands.” However, if you don’t like it in your wine, it’s a problem. Delving into the wine chemistry literature of

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Controlling Grapevine Vigor: Tips from the Pros

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One of the biggest challenges to growing grapes — commercially or recreationally — is controlling vine growth, which is known as vigor. If the vines are too productive, or not productive enough, the grapes (and resulting wines) will suffer. Two grape growing experts share some vigor advice for finding a happy medium in your backyard.

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Volatile Acidity

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An introduction into volatile acidity (VA) and how to avoid it.


WineMaker Turns 15

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A look at the numbers from 15 years of WineMaker magazine.

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15 Grapevines to Try in Your Vineyard

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Celebrating 15 years, here’s 15 grapes you should consider growing!

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15 Facts About Wine Yeast

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For more than 10 years I have been a home winemaker and for almost that long I have also brewed beer. Before that, I was general manager at a company that sells wine production products — including yeast — to commercial wineries. Through all that time, two facts about yeast most impressed me. First, what

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15 Wine Kits to Try

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Most home winemakers have limits on their winemaking space, equipment, cellar capacity or the ability of their liver to keep up. If you are one of those who has to pick and choose, this article could be a sort of personal bucket list, especially if like a lot of folks you’ve found a “house” wine

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15 Home Vineyard Tips

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One truism in almost everything I do is this: By the end of any project, I am competent to start it properly. Nowhere is this more evident than in viticulture, and backyard vineyards are often a source of great disappointment because we knew so little when we first planted the vines. In the olden days

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15 Keys to Winemaking Success

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As we look back at the many wines we made, we cherish the memories of those winners that amazed our friends and family. But there have been failures too and perhaps some disappointments when we expected that “great” wine to fetch gold at competitions but failed to earn any medals. Have we learned anything from

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15 Wine Styles You Need to Make

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One of the things that makes wine irresistible is the endless variety: every grape, every region, every vintage, every bottle tastes a little different from the last. And so while there is no crime in getting better and better at making one wine or one style, there is much to be learned — and much

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Cabernet Franc: The “other” Cabernet king

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Cabernet Franc is thought to have originated in Southwest France, specifically in Libournais.

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Fining Fruit Wines

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The short answer is that yes, I would absolutely cut down on the amount of clarifying agent you use if you don’t have enough wine volume for the recommended 5 gallon (19 L) batch listed on the packet. Because I don’t know what is in your “pre-measured packet,” it’s hard for me to get into

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Making Cabernet Franc: Tips from the Pros

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Cabernet Franc can be a very versatile grape to grow in your backyard vineyard — and more forgiving in some ways than Cabernet Sauvignon. But what does it take to make good Cab Franc at home? In this issue, three experts discuss techniques for making Cabernet Franc in the vineyard and in the winery. Terry

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Choosing Your First Fermenter

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Explore the options for your first fermentation vessel.


The Telling Room

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An excerpt from Michael Paterniti’s new book THE TELLING ROOM: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese.

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Joining a grape growing community

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Spending time with fellow amateur grape growers can improve your own vineyard.

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Choosing Corks and Wine Closures

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As I walked about the roomful of wine following April’s WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition judging, I was reminded of how little thought is given to closures. Winemaking problems notwithstanding, this could confirm the fact that I found far too many wines to be oxidized. There were recycled screw caps, both aluminum from wine bottles

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Winemaking by the Numbers

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There are lots of ways to help winemakers learn or refine their craft. Most of those involve lists of equipment and supplies, along with step-by-step or time-based instructions for what to do


White Wine Skin Contact

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Today’s proposed violation takes on one of the dominant conventions of modern white winemaking: no skin contact.


Home Vineyard Experiments

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Bibliographies are traditionally presented at the end of an article, but there is a book that proved so central to the production of this article that it must be given a leading role, a beauty shot and a recommendation for purchase. This seminal work of viticultural research is called Sunlight Into Wine by Dr. Richard

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Wines Two Ways: Oaked and Unoaked

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To Oak, or not to Oak, a phrase I took from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet and changed the words around a little. But going a step further and delving into the tools that winemaker’s have in their hip pocket, are all the tools necessary? Some winemakers think they have to follow a certain recipe or protocol

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Performing Bench Trials

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At first glance, bench trials for home winemaking may seem like more trouble than they’re worth. Variously called bench trials, bench tests, or even kitchen table trials, they are focused experiments targeted


2013 WineMaker International Wine Competition Results

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4,564 entries 923 wine flights 2,282 total judging hours 50 American states 8 Canadian provinces 9 Countries From April 19 to 21, 2013, a record total of 4,564 different wines were judged


Small Batch Wine Experiments

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Making small batches of wine at home can be a real labor of love. If you primarily make wine by the barrel it might be easy to take this idea for granted, but making really small batches (less than six gallons let’s say) can take a lot of effort for little gain. For the many

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