Coping With Grapes Affected By Smoke TaintMEMBERS ONLY
Some characteristics found in smoke-tainted wines are the same that can be found in toasted oak barrels. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com I’ve heard rumor that a couple of smaller wineries that have experienced smoke taint in their grapes are indeed evolving that wine into new styles. Depending on the grape type and level of impact,
Sauvignon Blanc: Old World to NewMEMBERS ONLY
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.
Going The Distance: Crafting age-worthy winesMEMBERS ONLY
When you set your sights on making a “keeper” wine, one you plan to lay down for several years, there are certain techniques you can employ to make sure it doesn’t round the bend too soon. Learn how to make that wine worth holding on to.
Scaling Up: Crushing, pressing, and fermenting larger batches of wineMEMBERS ONLY
Scaling up to larger and larger sized batches of wine may save money because of bulk buying, but new equipment will become necessary at some point. Bob Peak runs through considerations winemakers need to ponder for crushing, pressing, and fermenting larger-scale batches.
Best Practices: Mythic vines make for mythic winesMEMBERS ONLY
Have you ever visited a vineyard and wondered, “How did they do that?!” You know the place, where all the vines seem to be in sync and healthy. Wes found such a hobby vineyard and decided to interview the green thumb.
Scaling Up GrapesMEMBERS ONLY
There is a certain set of hobby winemakers that are happy with their current winery set up and volume. But for those that are looking to grow their hobby, here are some finer points to expanding your volume with fresh grapes.
Grape Skins: Start to finishFREE
Grape skins can be one of the most important components when creating some wines, while being detrimental to others. Scratch the surface of grape skins in this piece.
Goodness, I’ve never answered two questions at the same time before! I decided to put the two of you together since your questions were so similar. There are some things that apply
Fresh Grape Supplier DirectoryFREE
Looking for fresh grapes this harvest season? Here is a list of select fresh grape vendors you can purchase grapes from.
Discussing Pros v. Cons of Pinot NoirMEMBERS ONLY
Pinot Noir has quite a reputation. Often known as the “Heartbreak Grape” and lovingly discussed, dissected, and degustated (is that even a word?) by rabid Pinot-philes the world over, Pinot Noir was being talked about in the wine world well before the movie Sideways thrust it onto an international stage. Many years after Miles and
From Grape to GlassFREE
Nothing feels as satisfying and authentic as making your first batch of wine from fresh grapes. And there’s no better time to try it than in early autumn, when grapes all over
White wine Case Study Chardonnay is one of the world’s most popular wine grapes, as evidenced by widespread plantings in France, Australia, South Africa, South America and the United States. The grape
Making Cabernet SauvignonFREE
RED wine Case Study: There are two important keys to determining the success of any grape varietal. The first key is its adaptability to the local climate where it is planted. We
New Skills: Master macerationFREE
Maceration is the process in red winemaking of letting the crushed grape solids soak in the juice. It is during maceration that key compounds are extracted from the grape juice and solids,
Questionable ‘Premium’ GrapesMEMBERS ONLY
That’s an interesting data set you present there. What I’m about to tell you, please take with many grains of salt because I am not privy to the growing locations of your California Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes and, for instance, would expect very different quality numbers from a Zinfandel grown in Dry Creek
Sluggish Fermentation WoesMEMBERS ONLY
Hmmm, it sounds like you’ve got a little bit of sugar left there. I would start, however, with a quick check of your numbers to be sure. A °Brix of -1.0 (0.995 specific gravity) is where “dryness” starts when measuring with a hydrometer. Please make sure you are temperature-correcting your hydrometer reading. If your juice/wine
White Crystals After CrushingMEMBERS ONLY
I’ve had a similar experience — both with having to pick gapes at sub-optimal times (curse you, weather!) as well as having that rough white residue on my crush equipment. The residue, which resembles a thicker than normal layer of hard water scale, comes from the grapes themselves. From what I understand, it’s simply an
Dealing With High Brix GrapesFREE
You definitely want to water down that high-sugar juice before you pitch your yeast. High Brixes lead to high alcohols, which lead to yeast that just can’t complete a fermentation. Stuck fermentations
Making Wine From GrapesFREE
Grape Wine Ah yes . . . grapes! Now that we’ve covered the science behind the winemaking process, you are ready to gather some grapes and start making wine from scratch. From
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.
Making Dry MuscatMEMBERS ONLY
Sounds tasty to me! I love a dry (or even off-dry, maybe with residual sugar of around 5 g/L), crisp Muscat wine. Historically, Muscats have been used in many wine types, from sweet and desserty to fortified to dry. I’ve made a few myself in my career, starting with the infamous “Vin de Glaciere” dessert
Pairing Yeast with GrapeMEMBERS ONLY
Start with the grapes. Whether you make wine at home from fresh grapes, juice, or frozen must, there are many influences over the quality and character of your wine. Grape variety itself is perhaps most significant for the wine style choices you make. Unless you grow your own grapes — and in some cases, even
Pruning the Avila Adobe VineMEMBERS ONLY
In January, Wes Hagen joined Los Angeles archivist Michael Holland to prune the historic 200-year-old Avila Adobe vine and explore the history of the city’s winemaking. The vine is located inside the courtyard of the oldest building in Los Angeles.
Sourcing Grapes from Vineyards for Home WinemakersMEMBERS ONLY
Sourcing fresh grapes directly from a grower can be a fun and rewarding experience for home winemakers. Get some tips for making the most of buying grapes straight from the vineyard.
Skin Contact DecisionsMEMBERS ONLY
Winemakers have to decide how long to macerate their grapes to make the best wine. But how? Too little skin contact and the wines can lack color or body; too much contact and you wind up with wines that are too bitter or astringent. Learn more about skin contact to make an informed decision.