The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Monthly archive: 09 2009

Bahia Belle Blend Tasting Note

Although this blend is still very young — only about 2 months in the bottle! — I really wanted to try it out.  Decanted very briefly. Very sharp, acidic nose. Hint of raspberry and blackberry with spice. Very clear, garnet-purple in color. Very vegetal flavors of green pepper, raspberry, plum, and oak. After about an […]

Yakima Synergy 3 Month Tasting

Nose of crisp apples with hint of vanilla. Very clear, pale yellow-green in color. Crisp flavors of green apple and peach with hint of bell pepper and vanilla. Wow, really came together VERY nicely, and sooner than I expected!

Bringing the Syrah Home

Paul pressed out the syrah this week, and then racked the juice off of the gross lees into carboys to start the MLF.  It looks like we only got about 10 gallons of juice, and he also kept a bucket of “sludge” that looked like it might settle out and yield a little more volume.  […]

Oh the Pressure

I checked on the primitivo this morning, and saw that the bottles had warped again.  This happened before, the ongoing fermentation creates a negative pressure that causes the bottles to kind of “suck in” and get warped.  It’s an easy fix, I just pulled off the bungs to release the pressure and they went back […]

Famous Last Words

It was time to pump off the cleared wine into a clean trash can for inoculation of the MLB.  My hubby was nice enough to help me, since wrangling the wine pump could get a little hairy;  both hoses need to be held under the wine, while plugging in the pump and sucking air through […]

Pressed Primitivo

I got everything set up and started pressing the primitivo after retesting the brix, which were at 0 for both cans.  It took about 4 hours total, it’s quite tedious with the basket press – the must gets poured in until the basket is about full, then the lid gets screwed down to press.  The […]

A Pressing Question

This is unexpected, both the syrah and the primitivo are ready to press this weekend.  It would not normally be a problem, except we are going to our friends’ wedding today in Fallbrook (an hour away, but oh so pretty there!).  That makes pressing today with the basket press not an option, leaving only one […]

Cool Masher

Since the batch is a bit bigger this year, I investigated getting a better punching tool.  The “professional” punching tools start at $80, which seems a bit much.  I like my little plastic potato mashers, but they just don’t reach to the bottom of the cans.  So, I dug around online for an industrial sized […]


I checked the brix today – can A is at 11.7 brix, and can B is at 9 brix!  I gave can A 40 grams of fermax yeast nutrient, since it has a slight sulfur smell, and 20 grams to can be.  The temps were up to 88 degrees, too.  Looks like I’ll be pressing […]


Day 2 after inoculation of the primitivo.  I went to punch down this morning, and noticed that the can with BM45 (can B) was exceptionally foamy, whereas can A with ICV-D80 had no noticeable foam.  Can A was at 82 degrees F, and can B was at 85 degrees F. I checked out Lallemand’s wine […]