Reflections on 2011 Winemaking Resolutions

On this last day of the year, it is time to reflect on how I did with my 2011 New Year’s Resolutions. In early January of 2011 I had four resolutions. Here are the resolutions and comments.

1. Learn to clarify, filter and sweeten the Muscat wine prior to bottling.
Well we posted a question about sweetening the wine on the LinkedIn Winemaker’s discussion group. It was decided to sweeten the muscat with Muscat concentrate. We did not filter the wine. This turned out to be a mistake. The wine was clear when bottled, however after resting for several months in bottle, there is a noticeable sediment. You can pour one glass of the wine or fill a decanter without the sediment mixing in with the wine. However, when the wine is turned up after pouring a glass, the sediment will mix with the wine. Not very appealing. The silver lining is that Kathy gave me a wine filter for a Christmas present. In 2012 I’ll filter my whites.

2. Bottle the case of Cab at Vint Hill Craft Winery.
We bottled the first weekend in August with help from son Kevin and daughter Meghan. The only problem is the label machine was broken so we had to hand label at home.

3. Bottle the Petite Syrah in a carboy at home.
We bottled the Petite Syrah. This wine was made from juice that we were given. The juice was from Lodi. I finally came to a conclusion that red wines should be made from grapes, not juice. The juice needs the grape skins and seeds.

4. Get a yield of grapes greater than 15 pounds from our Niagara vines. Make Niagara wine. Rent or borrow a press and end up with more than 3/4 gallon of juice.
Completely lost out on this resolution. I sprayed the grapes and put netting over them. Birds and chipmunks somehow made it into the netting and we spent more time releasing them then harvesting any grapes. The Niagara grapes never managed to get above 14 brix. Then a hurricane followed by a rain train destroyed the crop. We ended with nothing but a respect for grape growers and what they have to go through.

If you had winemaking resolutions, how did you do?


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