Winemaking

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.

Dry Wine or Sweet Wine? How to Manage Sugar when Making Wine

As a winemaker, much of my thoughts and actions are given to solving the problem of  sugar in wine. Residual sugar in one wine can be the bane of a good vintage. But sweetness can also be another wine’s glory.

In my experience, the industry standard of fermenting wines to dryness is the imperative ninety-five percent of the time. To taste a Cabernet Sauvignon that you expected would be gum-tinglingly tannic and instead tastes like a chocolate covered raspberry would be off-putting to most because a sweet Cabernet Sauvignon is not the industry standard. The profile for many wines is dryness – in other words a lack of sweetness, the absence of sugar.

Green Wineries: Three Eclectic Examples

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WINERIES GO ORGANIC, SUSTAINABLE AND BIODYNAMIC

From large to small, northern California wineries are starting to color their operations green, whether by organically growing their grapes, practicing sustainable activities or creating biodynamic environments.

Laely Heron on Sexto, Balance, Wanderlust & the Evolution of a Cult Winemaker

Laely Heron (Click Image to Enlarge)Laely Heron's life reads like that of a character in a James Bond flick. Raised by adventure seeking parents, Laely spent her childhood moving from one exciting place to another -Algeria one year, Singapore the next- with over a dozen different places of residence by the time she graduated high school. College found Laely at the University of Colorado but wanderlust soon took her to Bordeaux to study oenology. The end result was a young woman with a nose for the unique customs, flavors, and scents that differentiate cultures. Not surprisingly, a wine career ensued. Adventurous, entrepreneurial, talented, ambitious and, let’s face it, stunningly beautiful, the only thing missing is a secret identity and a pistol in her boot and Laely Heron could very well be a Bond girl.

Action flicks aside, today Laely Heron is pushing the envelope in the wine industry as she endeavors to reshape the image of the “cult“ winemaker as one who makes high quality, ambitious, and affordable wines. Thanks to Laely for chatting with IntoWine.

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