The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Monthly archive: 08 2009

That Doesn’t Look Quite Right

I started on the immense task of actually putting foil capsules and labels on all of the barrel wines I bottled a few weeks ago.  Occasionally some of the bottles I recycle have super-fat necks, and so instead of the heat capsules sliding nicely over the neck, I have to pull them on until they’re […]

Bottling Chianti and the Case of the Leaking Cork

Today I bottled 30 bottles each of a cabernet sauvignon kit (for Dave) and chianti (for me).  As I was putting labels on the chianti, I noticed one cork with wine seeping out of the top.  I’ve never had this happen before.  I yanked that one out, and wine spewed out – we had overfilled […]

Zinfandel Grapes for the Home Winery

Ray Schnorr (he let me use his basket press last year) is picking up zinfandel grapes from Amador county this year, and asked if I was interested in getting some as well.  I wanted to make some zin from grapes this year, so it seemed like a great opportunity.  He sent an update today from […]

Syrah Ripening Fast!

Got an email from Mike Hoffman this morning about the syrah – they’re at 23% brix and pH of 3.29 already!  He said next weekend will be harvest time!!!!!

Fallbrook Vineyard Visit

I saw a classified on the SDAWS site for local syrah grapes, and convinced Dave to go in on 500 lbs.  Paul is also going to take 500 lbs to make at home.  This syrah is grown at Live Oak Vineyard in Fallbrook, and we get to take part in harvest when the grapes are […]

Is That Supposed to Look Like That?

I was racking off my Cellar Craft 5-week Old Vines Zinfandel kit today and noticed this yucky-looking white residue at the top of the wine, sticking to the side of the carboy as it was racked off.  There was a lot of lees at the bottom, too.  I have an extra liter or so of […]

Bottling Sauv Blanc

Time to bottle the sauvignon blanc that had the battonage treatment.  That added another 6 weeks of waiting to the kit, I’m very curious how this wine will compare to the “untreated” kit.  I will let these bottles wait for about 3 months before doing a side-by-side, to give it as much of a fair […]