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Feb-Mar 2022

Technique
Technique

Beyond Oak: Tips from the Pros

Almost all winemakers use oak barrels for aging red and some white wines, as has been the case for ages. However, if you go back far enough, other woods were once common. Even today there are some winemakers who utilize unique woods that bring different characteristics to a wine. This seems like an area ideal for adventurous home winemakers working with smaller batch sizes, less pressure from market demand, and more freedom and flexibility to experiment. To help get us started, we found two pros with experience in this realm and asked for advice.

Article
Article

Live Chat with Jenne Baldwin-Eaton

Live chat with Jenne Baldwin-Eaton, which took place March 29, 2022.

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Article

Live Chat with Jason Phelps

Live chat with Jason Phelps, which took place February 24, 2022.

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Article

Gold Anniversary: Celebrating 50 years of fine winemaking

Fifty years ago a hobby winemaker decided to “go pro” by opening his own home winemaking supply shop. To attract customers, he started a winemaking club. The Purple Foot Wine Club is still going strong and wants to raise a toast to mark the occasion.

Technique
Technique

Dear Wes: A new vintage of backyard Q&As

The reader letters have been piling up, so Wes decides it’s come that time again to pick up the pen and share some of the most useful questions (and his answers) that readers have sent to him over the past year regarding backyard viticulture.

Technique
Technique

Tune Up: Calibrating your wine equipment

What good is having a thermometer or titration kit if the numbers you are getting from them are off? Make sure you are properly calibrating all your wine testing equipment.

Article
Article

Bonarda Argentine Or Douce Noir or Charbono . . .

Grape varietal names can be a confusing world, typically because one grape varietal may have over a dozen names based on location. But in this case, one grape name has an array of grape varietals. Get the scoop on Bonarda Argentine, one whose history is finally making sense thanks to DNA analysis.

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Article

Matching Quality Grapes With Oak And The Complexities Of Raspberry Wine

When a winemaker gets their hands on some highly coveted Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, he wants to make sure that the oak quality matches the grape. But he balks at the price tag of a new oak barrel. Get some tips for high-quality oak alternatives and ways to correct a raspberry wine with weird numbers.

Wine Wizard
Wine Wizard

Dealing With Acid Issue on a Raspberry Wine

I really applaud you for keeping such detailed records and testing regularly. This really helps me when diagnosing issues and coming up with ways to help. I want to start off by

Wine Wizard
Wine Wizard

Barrel Alternatives: Matching quality grapes with oak

Hey, I see you, I hear you, and I’m so here for you! The average price for a French oak barrel has really become very high in the last couple of years

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Article

Understanding the Basics of pH Meters

pH meters are a crucial piece of testing equipment for winemakers looking to take their hobby to the next level. Learn some basics of why, how, and when.

Technique
Technique

Finding Balance with Hybrids

Hybrid grapes pose certain challenges to winemakers including higher acidity and lower tannins. Three cool-climate winemakers share their advice to create a balanced wine from these grapes.

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Article

2022 Label Contest Winners

Hundreds of home wine labels were entered in WineMaker’s 22nd Annual Label Contest. We share all of the winning labels that make the bottles look as good as the wine inside tastes.

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Article

Bella Toscana!

A group of WineMaker readers were recently accompanied by Publisher Brad Ring on a winery and food tour through Tuscany. We share the highlights and photos from Italy’s renowned wine region.

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Article

Sauvignon Blanc: Old World to New

Sauvignon Blanc wines came to fame in France’s Loire region, but they have also achieved success in New Zealand, the U.S., and elsewhere. Four winemakers from these top Sauvignon Blanc-producing regions share their techniques that result in wines of varying character and flavors.

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Article

Blending Vinifera and Hybrid Grapes

Vitis vinifera grapes are often thought to be the species used to make wine in the premier wine regions, while French-American hybrid grapes are those used in regions vinifera grapes can’t be grown. However, each species brings something unique to the bottle and it may just be that blending grapes of both species will result in just what your wines need.