Writer: Jeff Shoemaker
Fine wineMEMBERS ONLY
The goal for experienced and new winemakers alike is a product that is both pleasant in taste and appearance. Unfortunately for many new winemakers the result is stubborn cloudiness with sediment, or worse, a product that develops haze once bottled. A wine that is cloudy is considered a seriously flawed wine and thought to be
A Quicker Route to BubblesMEMBERS ONLY
Making non-traditional sparkling wine at home through force carbonation is simple and can yield amazing results. With just a few pieces of equipment, one can make delicious bubbly in a matter of weeks. In this article I will outline how to keg, carbonate, and bottle sparkling wine to be enjoyed with friends and family. Force
Small Batch BarrelsMEMBERS ONLY
Barrels offer a lot more benefits to wine than just oak taste and tannins, but full-size barrels are often out of reach for the home winemaker. Smaller barrels that are more home winemaker-friendly pose some nuances when it comes to wood-to-wine ratio, but they offer the same benefits when you know how to use them.
Get Crystal Clear About FiltrationMEMBERS ONLY
If you want to serve a crystal clear and microbial stable wine, it will require filtration. Explore the “how” and “why” of wine filtration, along with the equipment needed to do it.
Red Hybrid WinemakingMEMBERS ONLY
There are some intricacies when making red table wines from hybrid grapes that vinifera winemakers don’t experience — from growing practices, pre-fermentation techniques, and right on through to post-fermentation adjustments.
Using Variable Volume Wine TanksMEMBERS ONLY
Over the past few years I have made larger and larger batches of wine, and as a result the number of carboys I use has really added up. Each year I try to make improvements to my home winery, and being a total wine equipment nerd variable capacity stainless steel tanks were an obvious upgrade
Moving Wine with PumpsMEMBERS ONLY
Wine is frequently transferred or “racked” into another vessel to leave the byproducts of the process (known as lees) behind. If you make larger batches of wine at home, using a pump can make this process easier.
Your Best Crush and PressFREE
You can never be too prepared in your winery when the grapes come in from harvest. Follow our guidelines for crush and press success.
The Retirement PlanMEMBERS ONLY
All good things must come to an end . . . and that includes your winemaking equipment. Let’s run through the signs of when it’s time to replace equipment, when it can be restored, and how to best preserve it for a few more seasons.
Small Space ViticultureMEMBERS ONLY
Although the best part of visiting a winery is the wine, I have to admit I love spending time in or near the actual vineyard. A vineyard in full leaf with beautiful juicy grapes hanging about can be a very cool place to relax. I am also intrigued by how vineyards develop, particularly when green-space
Let’s Bottle!MEMBERS ONLY
From cleaners to corkers, there are many options on the market for the home winemaker for the home winemaker when it comes time to get your wine into the bottle.
Wine Grape Cold Soaking SuccessMEMBERS ONLY
If you have ever researched how to make Pinot Noir, you have no doubt come across the term “pre-fermentation cold maceration” or simply “cold soak.” Although a cold soak is used on other grape varietals, lowering the temperatures prior to fermentation is primarily done to coax more color out of Pinot Noir, which tends to
Propagating GrapevinesMEMBERS ONLY
Whether you want to grow grapevines for winemaking, fresh eating, or just decoration, they can be propagated at home simply by taking a few cuttings and rooting them. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can create a micro-vineyard of your own.