Date: Dec 20-Jan 21
Live Chat With Bob PeakMEMBERS ONLY
Video Live Chat with Bob Peak, which took place on January 27, 2021.
2020 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition ResultsFREE
From August 21 to 23, 2020, a total of 2,519 different wines were judged at the Lincoln Family Summer Estate at Hildene in Manchester, Vermont. This year’s judging was postponed three earlier
Additives to Impact Phenolics and TanninsFREE
In previous articles on phenolics I have reviewed the basic structure of the most important phenolic compounds in wine production and discussed how different processing and equipment options can impact the type
Top 100 Wine Kits of 2020MEMBERS ONLY
This past August, experienced judges evaluated a total of 767 wine kit entries as part of the overall 2020 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition that had a grand total of 2,519 entries. This large collection of kit entries was sent into the competition from across North America. The 767 wine kit entries were entered into
15 Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting Techniques for KitsFREE
Answers to 15 of the most common questions winemakers ask about making wine from kits.
Tannin Additions: Tips from the ProsMEMBERS ONLY
A grape’s tannin structure is impacted by varietal, terroir, and growing conditions. Sometimes, grapes lack the tannins desired, and when that happens winemakers have the option of techniques to maximize extraction, adding tannins, blending, and more. Three pros share their approach in this issue’s “Tips from the Pros.” Phil Plummer, Winemaker at Montezuma Winery in
The Leaker: An old friend comes backMEMBERS ONLY
Port wines are famous for being able to last for decades, even centuries. But what about a failing country fruit wine that a winemaker tries to save by fortifying it? Here is a story of being reunited with such a wine 36 years later.
Oak and Barrel Dynamics: Do’s and don’ts when it comes to wine and oakMEMBERS ONLY
The role of oak in our wines can fall on a broad spectrum and the type of oak products used can change the dynamics. Make sure you’ve got the lowdown on the impacts of oak and how it can be manipulated.
The Winemaker’s Pantry: Supplies to keep on handMEMBERS ONLY
For those that are regular winemakers, the accoutrements start to add up through the years. Here is a guide for folks to consider what things to keep in their “winemaker’s pantry,” their uses, and their shelf life.
Grenache Blanc: Some lessons from the Old WorldMEMBERS ONLY
Grenache Blanc is a grape from the northwestern region of Spain and, as the name implies, has evolved from Grenache Noir. Chik Brenneman provides instructions on making this grape shine, starting in the vineyard and taking it through to bottle.
Is Oak Sanitation Necessary?MEMBERS ONLY
I never boil or rinse my chips because, you’re right, that’ll strip them of the valuable flavor and aroma right off the bat. The one thing you need to do first, either before you buy chips or before you add them to your wine batch, is to smell them. If they smell moldy, musty, or
Recommended First SO2 AdditionMEMBERS ONLY
Thanks, Bob, for joining fellow columnists and me for our first ever virtual WineMaker Harvest Boot Camp this past September! This question didn’t get answered in my Q&A session held at the end of my “Top 5 Harvest Mistakes to Avoid” talk (there were a number of others that didn’t get answered either that I’ll
Free SO2, Bottle Drop, First SO2 Addition, and Oak SanitationMEMBERS ONLY
A winemaker asks for some pointers on when to test for sulfite on their wines using their new sulfite testing kit. Also, learn about curing wine plating, basic equipment required for a winemaker making the jump from kits to fresh grapes, and preparing oak for wine.
Wine Bottle DepositsMEMBERS ONLY
I’ll assume you’re going to do red (not rosé) — that’s the easiest for small-volume winemaking. I’ll also assume you’ll hand-destem, so you really don’t need a de-stemmer. Just get out as many stems as you can by hand. You’ll need a good food-grade fermenter like a small, food-grade trashcan or a bin that you
Testing For Free SO2MEMBERS ONLY
Good for you for investing in a way to track your free SO2 (FSO2) levels. It’s one of the most important ways we can keep our wines safe. You can buy something like a Vinmetrica kit or send out samples monthly to a local wine analysis lab (like ETS here in Napa County), which is
Grape Skins: Start to finishFREE
Grape skins can be one of the most important components when creating some wines, while being detrimental to others. Scratch the surface of grape skins in this piece.
Recording Notes Like a ProFREE
For winemakers, harvest time is a period of intense activity, and essential decisions and preparations need to happen well in advance of crushing day for things to go smoothly. These decisions include