One group of internationally famous wines — the Super Tuscans — has come to represent revolutionary change in the wine world in the last few decades. After long-held traditional principles and practices
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
All home winemakers wish — and strive — for fermentations that go smoothly and completely to the desired finish, usually dry wine. When things go wrong, a frequent problem is a stuck
Our job isn’t finished when fermentation is over. With many wines, especially reds, you may want to go ahead and do a malolactic (ML) fermentation as well. And during cellaring you need
Getting sick of the same old Cab? Try a red wine that’s more out of the mainstream, like Carménère, Charbono, Dolcetto, Montepulciano, or Tinta Cão.
As I started working on this story, a surprising question occurred to me: “What makes wine white?” “The color” seems obvious when you look at a restaurant wine list or walk up
There are lots of reasons to try blending white wines, such as adding complexity, correcting a deficiency, or simply making something fun and new. Find out more about which white grapes work well together, and how to plan the perfect blend.
It its simplest, degas means “to remove gas from.” While the practice can apply to any unwanted gas, we have a very specific objective in mind in winemaking. We mean to remove
There are many components in wine that all need to work together to create balance. Find out how to juggle acidity, alcohol, residual sugar, tannins, color, flavor components, and more.
Perfectly ripe. That is how most winemakers — amateur and professional — want the grape crop to come in for every vintage. “Perfectly ripe” involves a whole host of factors. For home
When the editors at WineMaker suggested quality control (QC) for a story, I was delighted to take it on. I have a long personal and professional history with QC and it infuses
Lots of home winemakers concentrate their efforts in tune with the natural seasons. They make all of their wine in the harvest months of August, September, and October using seasonally available just-picked
Beyond basic pectic enzymes to increase juice yield and improve clarity, I have not seen much mention of enzyme use in country fruit wines. To be sure, most of the commercial enzyme
In a notebook of fermentation hobby records, I have a lab report dated November 3, 1998. That soil pre-plant analysis from Fruit Growers Laboratory marked my start 20 years ago in becoming
Selecting a yeast strain is one of the most consequential decisions a home winemaker can undertake. Yeast suppliers provide tables and charts of characteristics like alcohol tolerance, influence on varietal character, speed
When pioneers of winemaking like Louis Pasteur or André Tchelistcheff are mentioned, James B. Sumner is often overlooked. Nonetheless, this Nobel-prize-winning chemist (1946) set in motion the entire scientific field for today’s
I planted my hobby vineyard in 1999 and made my first wine in the 2002 vintage. I have 125 vines of Chardonnay and 125 of Pinot Noir planted on 1⁄3 acre (0.13
One of the most important conditions for your yeast to thrive is an abundance of nutrients. If the must doesn’t provide enough naturally, it’s time to add yeast nutrients. Use these tips to know when it’s time to add nutrients, and what types your yeast need to complete a successful fermentation.
“They can make the difference between sound wine and spoiled wine.” Daniel Pambianchi Daniel Pambianchi was talking about cleaning and sanitizing when he put that maxim in Techniques in Home Winemaking. Home
There are competing images in the story of fine wine. One version goes something like, “get the best grapes you can and get out of the way.” It’s great advice and it
Sooner or later, if you make wine at home, you are going to do some chemical analysis. To establish (or expand) your wine testing capability, what will it take? There are some
Blanket, flush, sparge, transfer, dispense. To exclude air while doing any of these things to your wine, your best bet is the use of an inert gas. Just about everyone has seen
Grapes want to be wine. That may be oversimplified, but the fact is that the vast majority of commercial wines — and most homemade wines — use winegrapes as their base. The