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Import Source: Quark

Award-Winning Red Wine Blends Roundtable

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Five top medal winners from the WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition share the secrets of their red wine blending success. Ron Dickens from Arizona started making wine at home in 2008 and started making red blends in 2010. His recent awards include a gold for his 2011 Chardonnay, silver for 2011 “Two Red Heads” blend,

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Build a Champagne Bottle Capper

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Recently Brew Your Own magazine did a story about the pneumatic bottle capper that I had built to cap beer bottles. A short time later, I was contacted by WineMaker Magazine asking if I’d be interested in making something similar, only this time one that was able to cap standard 750 ml champagne bottles. Of

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Making Tropical Fruit Wine

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Tropical fruit obviously are those native to the tropics. While the absolute number of fruit native to that area is disputed, at least 235 — more than twice that of the non-tropics — are widely recognized as having culinary significance. Almost all of them are suitable for wine. All factors governing winemaking apply to tropical

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Petit Verdot: The forgotten Bordeaux blend grape

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Petit Verdot is one of the “big five” grapes that make up a Bordeaux blend. Learn more about this red blender.

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Empty Airlocks

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It sounds to me like some “bad bugs” (ambient bacteria or yeast cells) got into your wine. After four years of aging, having a batch infected due to a bad airlock must be heartbreaking I’m sure. Depending on what the organisms are and how long the wine was exposed, it’s quite possible that the wine

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Making Late Harvest Wines: Tips from the Pros

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Late harvest wines are made using grapes affected by the mold Botrytis, which dehydrates the grapes. We’ve pooled advice from three pros with numerous accolades for their dessert wines to help you make an award-winning late harvest wine at home. Joe Hudon is entering his 5th harvest as the Winemaker at Claar Cellars, an estate

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Malolactic Fermentation for Beginners

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A quick explanation of what malolactic fermentation is, and how/when you may want to do it.


A Family Tradizione

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A Brattleboro, Vermont man carries on his Italian family’s home winemaking tradition.

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Grape Growing Q&A

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Grape growing questions answered!

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Using Outside Labs to Run Analysis Tests on your Wine

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There is lots of information out there about how to run various juice and wine analytical procedures at home if you want to do that. If you do not want to run the tests but you are interested in the answers, you may live in an area that has a commercial or university laboratory that

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A Year in a Home Vineyard

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Grapevine Dormancy The beginning of the calendar year in my Hyde Park, New York home vineyard is when the vines are in dormancy. This is a period of time when the grapevine rests and reserves its stored energy for the upcoming growing season. After harvest, the grapevine’s focus turns to expanding its root system and

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Tannin Additions in Wine Kits

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You might not achieve perfection on the first try, but it’s certain that changing up your game can make a huge difference to your finished kit wine. What kind of difference? You can make a difference so big that when you’re done it might seem like a completely different wine altogether. When you know the

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Top 100 Wine Kits 2014

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This past April 2014, over 50 experienced judges evaluated a total of 1,460 wine kit entries as part of the 2014 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition. This large collection of kit entries was sent into the competition from across North America. The 1,460 wine kit entries were entered in 37 different categories and represented a

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Vidal Blanc

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Vidal Blanc was originally develloped for Cognac production in the cold maritime regions of western France. Today it is a go-to grape in the US Northeast and Midwest as well as Canada. Plus, a recipe for Vidal icewine.

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Softened Water In Wine?

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That is a wonderful question! It’s estimated that it takes anywhere from 2–10 gallons (8–38 L) of water to make a gallon (4 L) of wine. Most of that estimate is for sanitation but there’s no doubt a little bit gets mixed up in the wine when we rehydrate our yeast or dissolve tartaric acid.

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Vineyard Winter Maintenance: Tips from the Pros

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All done using their energy to grow shoots, grapes and leaves, vines in the winter begin storing water prior to the first frost and then go into dormancy. That doesn’t mean those who look after the vineyard lay dormant though. Peter Brehm is the owner of Brehm Vineyards and also grows grapes at his White

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Stopping Fermentation

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Learn how to stop fermentation before reaching dryness, plus when and why a winemaker may wish to do so.


Grape Stomping Party

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For my birthday, I’d like to have a party where we step on grapes,” said my now fiancée four years ago. “Huh?” “Yeah, let’s step on grapes just like Lucille Ball did in that famous I Love Lucy episode.” And so started the tradition of our annual grape stomping party. At the time of the

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Co-Inoculation with Wine Yeasts and Bacteria

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Ask 5 winemakers and you may get 6 opinions about co-inocculation. But what does the science say?

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Maintaining a Home Wine Cellar

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Here are some tips and suggestions on cellaring your homemade wine and maintaining the cellar itself. The cellar “The cellar” has a wide range of interpretations for home winemakers. If you have


Home Vineyard Extreme Cold Weather Tips

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In this article I will discuss the degrees of cold temperature damage that can occur in grapevines, techniques to assess that damage, and ways to increase the likelihood that your remaining live vines will have the best possible outcome during the growing season. I will also discuss some preventive measures that can be used to

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Oxidation in Winemaking

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The early signs of oxidation are orange to brown colors developing in your wine. In white wine, the same exact wine (pictured above) can go from white (left) to brown (right) if oxygen exposure is not prevented. Image by Mick Rock/Cephas Library Based on what I have seen in wine competition results and from my

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Winemaking Tips from Bordeaux

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Bordeaux. The mere mention of the name conjures up images of centuries-old chateaus, pristine vineyards and superlative wines that have set the highest standards the world over. Bordeaux wine styles are the dreams, the ultimate goal of Cabernet and/or Merlot winemakers everywhere. Whether the wines are called Cabernet–Merlot blends, Meritage, or simply Bordeaux-style blends, the

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Adding Sugar to your Wine

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Step 1: Measuring What You Have The first step in figuring out how much sugar to add is to find out how much is present in the starting material/juice. These days, most suppliers of grape juices provide the buyers with the sugar concentrations of the juices we buy — either as weight percent or (equivalently)

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Fermenting & Degassing Wine Kits

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In this article I’m going to go into detail on the reasons behind two of the four most confusing concepts in kit winemaking: 1) Temperature, and why higher is better, and 2)


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