Technique

15 Keys to Winemaking Success

As we look back at the many wines we made, we cherish the memories of those winners that amazed our friends and family. But there have been failures too and perhaps some disappointments when we expected that “great” wine to fetch gold at competitions but failed to earn any medals. Have we learned anything from those as well as from the winners? So it’s a wise time to reflect back on those wines and review — and perhaps update — 15 important steps, axioms, tips and recommendations to (consistent) winemaking success. Plan Well Ahead You can never plan too much when you are winemaking. The cycles, from vineyard to bottle to imbibing, are very long. Poor planning can often spell disaster. So plan, and plan early in the season. First, figure out which varietals and what styles of wines you want to make. If you make wine from grapes, be prepared to process the grapes as soon as you get that (unexpectedly early) call that the fruit is in. Have a backup plan in case no grapes will be coming