Making wine in small batches, usually from 3 to 5 liters (3 to 5 quarts), is both easier and at the same time more exacting than making wine in much larger batches. Usually the province of country (non-vinifera) wines, Vitis vinifera grapes may also be made in small batches for the harvest of a single
Are you ready to move up from small batches of wine? In this article we are going to discuss the specifics of making “big” batches of wine — that is, 10 gallons (38 L) or more. This is a great follow-up to my recent article on setting up your home winery (in the February-March 2014
As in many fields — health promoting and weight-loss diets come to mind — that have grown from unfounded beliefs and around traditions, with newfound scientific knowledge proving or disproving long-held theories, the field of wine and winemaking has its share of myths, misconceptions and sheer quackery. To the uninitiated, enophiles can seem snobbish, often
Marechal Foch is a cold-climate red grape that has dispersed plantings in the Midwest, Northeast, and Canada.
I just saw your picture and wow, that does indeed look like a floating brain — or two! Luckily, that is a great shot of what I would call typical “fruit floaties” combined with some of the fruit’s natural pectin, and I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. You see, when you make wine
Growing grapes organically, like any other crop, is often more work than using synthetic fertilizers, solutions and sprays. But in the end, many winemakers who embrace organic growing believe the resulting wines display the purity of the fruit the way that Mother Nature intended. Joy Andersen is a pioneer of the modern-day Washington State wine
The failure rate of wine made from kits is very low. Looking back at my database for the last 14 years and eliminating the weirder stuff (you simply would not believe how many pets find their way into fermenting vessels) it turns out that if you follow the instructions closely and have generally sound sanitation
Oak barrels have long been used primarily for aging red wines but also to shape the style of certain white varietals, such as Chardonnay, into fuller-bodied wines. Oak wood imparts what is generally referred to as toasted-oak aromas and flavors, but more specifically, these include a varied set of volatile compounds, from aldehydes to oak
In ancient Greece and Rome, honey was sometimes stirred into wine just before serving. Maybe they just liked the taste of honey. More likely, though, the sweetness of the honey corrected some fault of bitterness or sourness. It might have enhanced fruitiness or rounded out mouthfeel. Honey, sugar, or other sweeteners can still make those
Jean-Antoine Chaptal lacked one major benefit we enjoy today: The work in microbiology by Louis Pasteur. (Chaptal lived from 1756 to 1832 and Pasteur lived from 1822 to 1895.) Chaptal was, nonetheless, a brilliant chemist in his era and he introduced many improvements to industrial processes over the course of his lifetime. The one for
Over the past few years I have made larger and larger batches of wine, and as a result the number of carboys I use has really added up. Each year I try to make improvements to my home winery, and being a total wine equipment nerd variable capacity stainless steel tanks were an obvious upgrade
While kegged wine has become fairly common in some bars, home winemakers still traditionally bottle. Learn some of the basics to kegging your wine.
Muscadine is a grape variety from the South that is used in many culinary recipes, but also makes a fine wine.
I hear you on the high pH/high TA unbalanced wine issue. I myself have dealt with some vineyards and some wine lots where I have had to add so much tartaric to high pH musts just to keep the pH below 3.85 after malolactic is complete. The causes of this in the vineyard is worth
Whole cluster pressing (foregoing the step of crushing and destemming the grapes) is most often done to make high-end white wines. The technique creates a more delicate and less astringent wine by reducing the contact time with the stems and skins. Jason Burrus is the Winemaker for Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg, Virginia. He has a
Gum arabic can do so many great things for your wines, from improving mouthfeel, making a thin wine taste fuller bodied, rounding out rough edges of grape tannins, increasing persistence of bubbles
The word “fortified” is prohibited on commercial wine labels in the United States. Yet we are surrounded by a fascinating array of fortified wines when we visit a good wine shop. Fortified wines are simply those to which distilled spirits have been added to raise the final alcohol level. Some sweet dessert wines, like late
Home winemakers know pH and acid are related when they make wine. Beyond that, the details sometimes get a little fuzzy. Shedding some light on how these important parameters are — and are not — linked to one another may help make better winemaking decisions. There are theoretical considerations from organic chemistry and laboratory analysis,