Bottling Day

I’ve been collecting bottles for the past few months. After finishing the wine, the bottles are rinsed and then placed in a wine rack. However I am paranoid about cleaning the wine bottles. After retrieving the bottles from the wine cellar, I placed them in the dishwasher and ran the SaniWash cycle. I did not […]

Harvest Timing

I’ve given up with my Dornfelder. After an assault from birds, I learned to place netting over the vines and grapes. It helped somewhat. We did have to free a few birds from inside the netting. Then the bees went after the grapes. I guess they are ready for harvest although the highest brix I […]

Chemical Analysis Before Bottling

After blending the California Cabernet Sauvignon with Virginia Tannat, I wanted to run a couple of tests on the wine. At home I measured the pH. My meter measured a pH of 3.8, which I thought was higher than I expected. Since Kathy and I were going to go to Vint Hill Craft Winery to […]

Blending the West Coast/East Coast Wine

I’ve waited for ten months to blend my west coast, California, Cabernet Sauvignon with east coast, Virginia, Tannat. Having family home for my youngest son’s wedding afforded an opportunity to get feedback on potential blends. The wine was to be Cabernet Sauvignon based so I set up four trials with a 10 percent Tannat influence, […]

Is Bottling the Final Phase of Winemaking?

The process of winemaking is long. Even those, who make wine at home from kits, must wait for several weeks. They are advised to wait longer after bottling to consume the wine. If you make wine from grapes, the wait is going to be longer often months or years. Groups making wine at Tin Lizzie […]

Brix Levels Not There Yet

Since the birds were insistent on stealing the Dornfelder, I bought a refractrometer and checked the brix levels. Prior to testing, I tasted the grapes. Although the Dornfelder was developing sweetness, the acid was more prevalent. Seeds were still green but beginning to turn brown. The Dornfelder measured a 16.5 brix. The birds probably have […]

Birds Plundering My Grapes

I have a newfound respect for grape growers. Finally, after two years of succumbing to black rot, I managed to aggressively spray my six grape vines that now have very nice fruit. The berries must be good since they are visited by a non-stop wave of birds. With only six vines and dozens of interested […]