Winemaking Tips: Blending, Fining, and Filtering

It’s almost a cliché – the image of the winemaker sitting in some kind of laboratory perfecting the blend for a final wine. In truth, it’s much more hands on. Wine is made in the cellar, after all, using tried and true methods and careful handling. For the commercial winery, the selections of barrels for blending can be very arbitrary – a final quantity taking precedence over a final quality. The micro-winery has a much greater incentive to strive for quality, having limited resources from which to create a final blend.

Winemaking: How To Make Wine Better

When I taste a finished wine, I am coming to terms with a number of important quality characteristics that inevitably lead me back to the wine’s elevage – its creation in the cellar. When I taste a young wine in the cellar, I am reading the wine’s health and potential – how it will taste the best many months or years in the future. Off-the-clock, I enjoy certain winemaking styles and varieties more than others. But knowing and making wine are two entirely different things. The flashpoint of any decision in the cellar is not when a wine is treated or blended with another, but when the wine reaches the consumer.

What's Wrong With My Wine? - Wine Flaws from the Cellar to the Glass

When it comes right down to it, a ‘bad wine’ can almost always be attributed to a flaw in the winemaking . A multitude of influences can determine how intense a wine is and thus how it is perceived by the taster, but the actual act of making wine is the catalyst between the grape and the glass – between plonk and quality wines. Anyone can squeeze grapes to make juice, let it ferment, and settle. That’s the easy part, and it’s quite natural – ever left a container of juice in the fridge too long?

Wine Additives – Pros & Cons of Wine Manipulation

When I started in this business, I heard a joke. Three winemakers were walking on a rural road and came to a crossroads. One of them said they should go left. Another said, right. The third winemaker pointed out that road went straight. It was decided that they would each follow their proverbial path and return to the crossroads to see who was right. When the winemakers returned to the crossroads, each was convinced that their path was the intended one. The winemakers each attempted to prove their logic. At this point in the yarn, the joker paused. After a long silence, the audience asked for the punch line. The joker said, They’re still there.

Aging Wine – An Odyssey of Containers

The wonder of nature has finally made its way to your cellar. The grapes you nurtured and fermented have relented. The bubbles of carbon dioxide have slowed from a turbid percolation to a fine sizzle and the lees have fallen. It’s time to choose a storage vessel, the place where and how your wine will age.

Winemaking: Managing Your Harvest and Fermentations

Harvest is that magical time when the baton is handed from the grape grower to the winemaker. The crop has been carried from bud break through flowering, fruit set, veraison, and maturation. For the last stretch of this process, the winemaker should be in the vineyard frequently, in close contact with the grapes with which they will be making wine. Selecting the correct picking date can be the difference between making an incredible wine or merely an acceptable one.

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.