Home Winemaking: Setting Up Your Micro-Winery

So, you’ve decided to make some wine. You know what variety you want to try, and where you want to make it, but you’re not sure what equipment you will need or how to go about finding it. The basic necessities of winemaking are not hard to come by, but establishing a sanitary environment and anticipating potential problems is where setting up a micro-winery can get tricky.

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First, become familiar with the current laws for home winemakers. Visit the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Website for current regulations and guidelines. Knowing what you can and cannot do, before you begin, will be invaluable as you move forward with this very rewarding process.

Let’s assume you know the laws and you know what kind of wine you want to make. Could be a Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, or Chardonnay. Maybe you’d like to try making Strawberry or Mulberry wine. Whatever fruit or grape you choose, you will need a few things on hand before you actually begin making wine.

Now, you will need a space to make the wine. A well-lit cellar or a garage free from mold and dust and varmints will do fine.

For more than 25 years, The California Wine Club founders Bruce and Pam Boring have explored all corners of California’s wine country to find award-winning, handcrafted wine to share with the world. Each month, the club features a different small family winery and hand selects two of their best wines for members.

The key for any winemaking facility is two-fold: Sanitation and temperature control. There should be easy-to-clean surfaces, drains in the floor, and ventilation for air to move freely in and out of the area – especially during the fermentation process.

Carbon dioxide is a bi-product of fermentation and can be VERY dangerous if not regulated. A simple dual window fan in which you can draw in or evacuate air is good for ventilation control in a small room. (ie: A raised garage door with a screen can substitute for a window, but a fan is of great importance.)