QI grow and make Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in southwest Idaho. The season is intense but short. In order to reach decent ripeness (~25 °Brix), I have been growing with a very high leaf-to-cluster ratio. The wine is fairly good but has high pH values. I adjust the must with tartaric acid to an acceptable
Before you start going crazy with a fermentation restart protocol, are you sure that it is really stuck? The first thing that I would advise you to do is to taste and compare your wine with your stepdad’s. At 9%, and compared to 15%, you should notice sweetness on the palate. If your wine tastes
Pomace, which is the skins, seeds and stems leftover from wine processing and pressing, can indeed be returned to the field as a soil amendment. You deposit it in a thin layer
If you add some kind of sweetener that is fermentable (table sugar, grape concentrate, maple syrup, honey, etc.) you risk an uncontrolled re-fermentation in the bottle, which is never fun.
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
“Commercially, winemakers encounter several scenarios in which they practice sugar addition. Typically, winemaking laws allow chaptalization in jurisdictions that frequently experience difficulty getting grapes ripe or in places where low-sugar grapes may thrive.” Jean-Antoine Chaptal lacked one major benefit we enjoy today: The work in microbiology by Louis Pasteur. (Chaptal lived from 1756 to 1832
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
As the penultimate step in winemaking, bottling can be one of the most exciting parts of the process. Crushing, pressing, fermenting, racking, clarifying, adjusting and weeks and months of waiting all come
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