Preparing our Qvevri for Burial

On our first visit to qvevri maker Zaliko Bodjadze we learned that we should coat the outside of the qvevri with a lime-based mortar. Zaliko demonstrated a trick he uses to help make the mortar mix stay in place and adhere to the qvevri. I hope his method works. Zaliko used galvanized wire to create […]

What Was your First Winemaking Experience?

Now that we are nearing the end of 2013, it is a time for reflection. One of the things that I have been pondering is the first wine that my wife, Kathy, and I made. In late 2007 we decided that if we were going to write about wine, we should make wine. Kathy gave […]

Finally Bottling a White Cab

Finally managed to bottle the 2012 White Cabernet Sauvignon made with juice from Thanksgiving Farm in Harwood, Maryland. The wine was in carboys in the refrigerator for the last two plus months taking up valuable real estate. The reason it took so long to get it bottled is that I didn’t have enough bottles. We […]

Another Option to Make Wine

Vint Hill Craft Winery in Warrenton, Virginia is beginning another program for wine enthusiasts to make wine. The winery is offering home winemaking classes. Participants will work one-on-one with winemaker Ashton Lough for four classes to make wine. Each class lasts for two hours. By the end of the last class, participants can take their […]

Another Wine Mistake

I knew my mistake after bottling the wine. Actually I knew it before bottling and just ignored it. Kathy and I bottled her 2010 Muscat. The wine was fermented dry and last weekend she added potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulphite. This weekend we backed sweetened the Muscat wine with Muscat concentrate. Our error, we didn’t […]

Bottling Petite Sirah

I began fermenting the Petite Sirah on October 1st 2010 from a six-gallon container of juice sourced from Lodi, California. At only 19 brix, I did add two and a half pounds of sugar to raise the brix level to 22.5. Fermentation was completed in a couple of weeks. The wine was racked and placed […]

Sweeten Niagara Wine with Splenda

The small amount of wine (less than a gallon) we made from our few Niagara vines was ready to bottle. It had been in the refrigerator for three months and we needed the space for the extra food that the Holidays require. During that time the wine cleared. Since I fermented the juice to dry, […]

Staying away from the Gook on the Bottom

It was time to rack Kathy’s Muscat. She had it settling in two three-gallon carboys and the sediment was piling up. She decided to rack the wine before our New Zealand wineries trip. The wine was already beginning to clear a little and the gook on the bottom was notieable. Realizing that we wouldn’t get […]

Niagara Update

While racking the Muscat and Petite Sirah from the fermentation bins into carboys, I decided to rack the Niagara. Since I have less than a gallon of Niagara, I racked it into a ½ gallon and 1 quart jugs. While racking I tasted the wine. It is golden in color and has a very floral […]

Adding Sugar to Juice

Perhaps it was because the Petite Sirah juice was beginning to ferment or some other reason, however, when I added just the beginning of the 2.5 pounds of sugar to the Petite Sirah juice there was an immediate reaction. The juice was filled to almost the top of the six-gallon container. As soon as the […]