Technique

Small Space Winemaking Techniques

In large wineries, functional spaces are usually separated. There may be a crush pad, one or more fermentation rooms, and a cellar or cave for barrel aging. Most of us at home do not have the luxury of large dedicated spaces for our winemaking hobby. Places need to do double or even triple duty. Some hobbyists get by with very tiny spaces and yet the appeal of this hobby is so strong that they somehow make do. Today’s column will shed a little light on arrangements, tips, and techniques that may help you maximize the utility of whatever space you have. In his classic book (now sadly out of print) Knowing and Making Wine, Emile Peynaud cites the separation of functions as critical for a commercial winery. He notes that “wineries should be spacious and well-aired . . . vinification cannot be done properly in a confined atmosphere.” He later notes that cellar storage is just the opposite and he calls for small, closed spaces with limited airflow to control humidity and minimize temperature fluctuation. While all of this would