Date: Feb-Mar 2012
Lab Equipment: Storage CabinetFREE
Over the years I have accumulated lots of pieces of fairly delicate labware to perform a number of winemaking tests. After recently remodeling my garage winery with some cast off kitchen cabinets
Fermentation Temperature ControlMEMBERS ONLY
This cooling setup keeps wine must within just a few degrees of target temperatures.
Evaporation Clarification, “Big” Reds, and Mold MaladyMEMBERS ONLY
Remember, every time you open your barrel, you introduce air and potentially some undesirable spoilage organisms.
Swamp Donkey Vineyards: Growing Grapes in New EnglandMEMBERS ONLY
A reader starts a vineyard in New England. “It is great to wake up in the morning, make a cup of coffee and walk out to the vineyard to check on the vines, training off shoots as I go along.”
Vineyard Queries: A Year of Questions and AnswersMEMBERS ONLY
This past year brought challenges and rewards for home vineyardists — and also a lot of questions for our vineyard expert Wes Hagen.
Cold Climate Grape GrowingMEMBERS ONLY
Indeed, for 4–6 months of the year, the frigid and snowy landscape hardly seems like a great place to plant a vineyard. Temperatures in January and February drop sufficiently low to kill dormant buds in most cultivated grapevines. Nonetheless, our best kept secret is our mild summers marked by long warm days and cool nights.
Pinotage: The Red Grape of South AfricaMEMBERS ONLY
Pinotage is the most recognized — though not the most widely grown — South African red wine grape.
Evaporation ClarificationMEMBERS ONLY
Thanks for clarifying your question a little bit. I am glad to hear you regularly top off your barrels, it’s a practice all of us need to do. Alcohol and water definitely do evaporate out of barrels (along with small amounts of other volatile aroma constituents of wine) and the resulting headspace does need to
In this article, Michael Larner discusses the wines of the Rhône region of France, and one of the most important winemaking parts of Rhône winemaking is blending. Learn about the basics of
Moldy Grape PressMEMBERS ONLY
I certainly wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater or the crush equipment out with the sanitizing solution in this case. A little accumulated mold on a wooden basket press or fermentation barrel doesn’t faze this Wine Wizard. It shouldn’t phase you, either, because it sounds like you are taking all the appropriate steps
Big Reds Aging TimeMEMBERS ONLY
So sorry to hear you had a bad year with the powdery mildew. Many growers in California were challenged by 2011, as the cooler weather left lots of us battling botrytis, rot and mildew in many areas of the state. I would suggest you go ahead and get your wine in the barrel now, even
Maybe you made a truly spectacular batch of Cabernet Sauvignon two years ago and haven’t been able to make another like it since and can’t figure out why. Maybe you’ve been making
Rhône WinesMEMBERS ONLY
Running up a 12-inch (30-cm) wide, rock, one-sided staircase with no handrails from one terrace to another, all more than 30% sloped, I pause to capture my balance, which has now shifted behind me as the 45 lbs. (20 kg) of Syrah grapes in my plastic bin-backpack pulls me downhill. Sweat is pouring from my head,
An Enology Education: Tips from the ProsFREE
If you are thinking about taking your amateur winemaking to a more professional level, it might be time to consider taking some winemaking classes. In this issue, two wine school instructors discuss some tips for finding your way in winemaking school.
Potassium Sorbate Post-MLFMEMBERS ONLY
If your primary fermentation (sugar to alcohol) is complete you shouldn’t have to add any potassium sorbate to your wine. In fact, adding sorbate to wine after performing malolactic fermentation (ML) can cause an unwanted effect in the finished wine — potassium sorbate reacts negatively with lactic bacteria and results in a geranium-like off-odor. The
Rhône in a Box: Wine KitsMEMBERS ONLY
A good winemaker understands not only his or her grapes and where and how they are grown, but also his or her techniques of elaboration and the greater context of the wine he is making. A winemaker will allow the wine to express itself without trying to mold it against its true nature, intervening only