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.
Winemakers have a lot of misconceptions about sulfur dioxide and its use in winemaking. Though somewhat controversial, longtime wine educator Clark Smith shares his views that are backed by science.
There is a lot of chemistry involved in winemaking — the better you understand it, the better chance you have of consistently making quality wine. Learn the role science plays and how to use it to your advantage when it comes to Brix, pH, titratable acidity, and more.
Heat (protein) and cold (bitartrate) stability issues in wine cause off-putting aesthetic defects that are often brought to light after the wine is in the bottle and undergoes a temperature swing if not taken care of during bulk aging. Learn how (and if) you should take these heat and cold stabilization precautions at home.
Wine was made for millennia with little intervention from humans. But let’s be honest, we have no idea how those wines tasted. Today we know that yeast create the wine and keeping them happy is crucial for producing good wine. Learn how nitrogen plays a pivotal role.
It’s a dirty phrase in most winemaking circles, but volatile acidity is found in all wine and having a little can actually add complexity to a wine. Get the scoop on volatile acidity.
One reader who is also a medical doctor discusses the potential health benefits of wine tasters who swish and spit their wines. It may be one of the healthiest things you can do . . . but that doesn’t mean he abides by the spitting aspect.
There are a lot of enzyme products available to winemakers, but in general they can be broken into just a few classes. Learn when and why a winemaker might use some of these various enzymes, especially during maceration.
Well, your grape or juice source really put you in a bind. Those are some of the most unbalanced initial numbers I’ve ever seen, and I would seriously consider getting your juice
Volatile thiols are delicate but powerful aromatic compounds released during fermentation. Through careful techniques and yeast selection, these thiols can be both preserved and enhanced to create an aromatic wine that pleases the senses.
In previous articles on phenolics I have reviewed the basic structure of the most important phenolic compounds in wine production and discussed how different processing and equipment options can impact the type
A grape’s tannin structure is impacted by varietal, terroir, and growing conditions. Sometimes, grapes lack the tannins desired, and when that happens winemakers have the option of techniques to maximize extraction, adding
The decisions you make in the process of red winemaking will dramatically impact the phenolics and tannins in the resulting wine. From maceration temperature to techniques like délestage, saignée, and thermovinification, you control how your wines will turn out.
Titratable acidity, or TA, is often viewed as a more advanced test, but it shouldn’t be. With a simple kit and a good pH meter, anyone can measure TA in any wine. Bob Peak has some straightforward advice for winemakers to help you bring balance to your wines through TA.
Polyphenolics are usually associated with red wines, but there are definitely processing choices and stylistic options where polyphenolics play a role in whites, rosé, and sparkling wines also.
An understanding of what is happening in wine on a chemical basis can be very useful in influencing choices regarding processing options and timing of activities for different wine styles. Unfortunately winemaking
Not all wines should go through a secondary malolactic fermentation (MLF), but for all wines that do undergo this fermentation, testing should be performed since these secondary fermentations can get stuck. Learn some of the basics of performing your own MLF test with paper chromatography.
Oxidation is one of the most common faults among home (and pro) winemakers. Learn how to protect your wine against the detrimental effects of oxygen.
Oxidation and oxidatively-driven degradation have been a constant plague on winemakers since time immemorial. Even today, with advancements in science and production, it continues to haunt producers of all sizes and styles.
The warming climate and the rise of mean temperatures during the growth season of grapes, which has been evident in these two last decades, has caused the rise in sugar content and
Whether it is just the basics (Brix, pH, etc.) or more advanced (free SO2, yeast assimilable nitrogen, etc.) all home winemakers should perform some tests to monitor their wines.
The answer to your question depends on the size of your batch. The bigger your batch, especially if it’s must all mixed together with juice and skins, you need to mix quite
If you want to make good homemade wine, you should learn to manage your wines’ YAN — yeast assimilable nitrogen.
This is a great question. Luckily the answer is simple. You still only calculate potential alcohol based on the original Brix reading. “Negative Brixes,” or when the density of your fermented solution
I’ve seen a few of these kinds of articles (ahem, I mean advertisements) floating around on the internet and it always results in an epic Wine Wizard “facepalm” upon reading. For starters,