Barrel Fermentations

Barrel aging typically begins after alcoholic fermentation is complete, however, you don’t have to wait until your wine is dry to start getting the benefits of oak. Learn about the advantages of fermenting in a barrel and ways it can be done at home.

Boost Your Wines with Raisins

Raisins can be used to add body, flavor, sugar, and complexity to grape wines. They can add a wine-like character to fruit wines. And they can even be made into wine on their own. Learn more about the use of raisins in winemaking.

Whole Cluster Fermentation Tips

Two pros share why they prefer whole cluster fermentations for certain varieties, the impact it has, and considerations home winemakers should make if they plan to forgo the crush.

Whole Cluster Fermentation

Whole cluster fermentation — fermenting grapes without crushing and destemming them first — is a technique that has been around for ages. Let’s take a deep dive into the benefits of this technique, what the research says, and whether you may want to consider whole cluster fermentation at home.

Expressing Terroir in Red Wine

Over the last decade or so, the word “terroir” has become the buzz word not just among wine lovers, but the greater agricultural world. Bob Peak walks us through several real-world examples of expressing terroir when making a red wine.

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.

To Saignée or Not to Saignée

Bleeding off a percentage of juice early during a red wine’s fermentation both concentrates the remaining juice and offers a chance to make a second wine from the bled portion. Learn when and how to employ this French winemaking technique at home.

Handling Stuck Fermentations

While a stalled out fermentation can be hassle, there are plenty of preventative measures we can take to preclude it from happening. Also, we should know the various tactics to treat it when a stuck fermentation does rear its ugly head.

Post-Fermentation Adjustments to Taste

When alcoholic fermentation is all wrapped up, most people assume that the wine is then mostly left alone to age. But winemakers know well that there are a lot of adjustments that can be made throughout the cellaring process.

Making Riesling Wines: Tips from the Pros

Get some pointers on working with the stylistically diverse Riesling grape, a cool-climate loving noble variety.

Experimenting with Deficit Irrigation

With ongoing drought concerns in many wine-growing regions, the practice of deficit irrigation is gaining traction, not only for using less water but also for producing higher-quality wine grapes. Learn about two winemakers’ experience with this technique.

Tasting Critically

Feedback is critical for winemakers who are looking to advance their hobby and no one should be more critical than you. Learn some of the many roads you can take in order to better your skills at critically tasting your wines.

Dry Rosé Production

Dry, crisp rosé wines hold a special place in a lot of wine lovers’ hearts, as a well-made version can be a thing of beauty. Learn some of the key components to producing one yourself.

Bringing Out the Fruit

Most red winemakers will begin alcoholic fermentation shortly after the grape clusters are pressed. But there are some alternative techniques that can be utilized pre-fermentation to try to bring distinctive character to the wines they produce.

Pick of the Litter

Finding high-quality grapes, even in wine country, can be a challenge for new winemakers. Get some advice for sourcing fresh grapes, no matter where you live, as well as how to handle the grapes to get them home safely.

Crushing It

Learn about several grape crushing options, the equipment that can be used, and the processes available to fresh grape winemakers.

Pectic Enzymes: Tips from the Pros

Three pro winemakers share how they use pectic enzymes to their advantage to maximize yields, increase color and flavor extraction, and make filtration easier.

Enological Oxygen Principles and Practices

While it sometimes gets a bad rap because too much oxygen can destroy a wine, oxygen is also very important to the winemaking process. Learn the six ways to use oxygen to your wine’s benefit.

The Charmat Process to Sparkling Wine

Many homebrewers of beer are unknowingly very familiar with the Charmat method to carbonate wine. If you are unfamiliar with this easy, albeit more equipment-heavy, process to produce bubbly wines, Bob Peak explains the technique.

Co-Fermentation: Tips from the Pros

Wine blends are most often created after fermenting each variety
separately. However, that isn’t the only way to do it. Some wine-makers choose to co-ferment certain varieties together, believing this approach adds to the complexity of the resulting wine. Get tips on co-fermentation from three pros who endorse the benefits.

Kegging Wine

In contemporary times beer and soft drinks have become the standard beverages to find on draft at bars and restaurants, but that is changing as wine-on-draft is a growing trend. Learn how you too can enjoy having both still and sparkling wines at home served on your own draft system.

Red Hybrid Grape Winemaking

Making red wine from hybrid grapes can sometimes be a challenge, but the rewards are also tremendous. The first steps? Forget what you know about making wine from vinifera grapes and embrace the unique characteristics hybrids often have.

Keys to Making Red Wine

If you’re a beginner planning on making a batch of red wine, here are some keys components to hone in on before you dive in.

Just the pHacts

If you are a winemaker looking to boost your wine’s quality, then tracking pH is a must. Bob Peak introduces the chemistry behind the numbers we obtain and how to use them to our advantage.


Chaptalization is the act of adding sugar to juice or must in order to increase alcohol content post-fermentation. Learn the basics of this technique.