Stomping the Niagara Grapes

After the Niagara harvest we sorted the grapes and weighed them. Having almost 13 pounds we had to decide to make jelly or wine. We decided to make a very small batch of wine from the juice. Since we didn’t have a press we were uncertain of how many liters of juice we could press. […]

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 […]

A Winter Day at the Winery

We had an opportunity to help winemaker Dave Zuchero at Tine Lizzie Wineworks in Clarksville, Maryland yesterday. The sun was radiant which helped melt the several feet of snow. Yesterday was one of the first days since the back-to-back blizzards hit the area earlier this month, which Dave was able to drive to the winery. […]

Winter Task May Take Longer than Fermentation, Part 1

You make a barrel or two of wine and are asked to design the label. Little did I realize that the label is going to take longer to create than the wine took to ferment. The wine I made and bottled at home during 2009 had no labels. However, now that I am making more […]

While the Wine Ages

Most wineries in the Northern Hemisphere have wine aging in tanks and barrels. Many home winemakers have wine aging in carboys and occasionally tanks or barrels. So what is there to do for winemakers and cellar masters during these cold winter days? Hibernation come to mind, however there are always winery tasks to attend. Generally […]

Topping off a Barrel with What?

The home winemaker tries to keep the wine in a carboy at the neck to minimize oxygen contact. At times it may be necessary to top off the wine in the container, perhaps due to evaporation but more likely due to tasting it. If the container is small, one option to increase the […]

Angels’ Share

There are many activities that take place in a winery. One of those activities is topping off barrels of aging wine. Wine in barrels will evaporate. This is referred to as the angel’s share. I don’t know if angels are happier in California with all of its wine regions or Kentucky with its […]

Winery Task: Rebottling Wine

Twice this year we’ve come across a winery that had cases of bottled wine that had a buildup of CO2 in some of the bottles. At a Texas winery there were only a few bottles detected, however the winemaker didn’t want to take any chances and decided to open all the bottles, dump […]

Winery Task: Racking Barrels

Winemakers do not often get a vacation. In the winery, there is always something to do. One of those tasks is racking the wine. Kathy and I helped winemaker, David Zuchero, at Tin Lizzie Wineworks rack the wine in seven barrels. It took the three of us about five hours, although I do […]

Sometimes Jobs are Just Messy

The last two tasks at Vint Hill Craft Winery were pressing the must and racking to barrels. Both tasks were simple, however they were messy and cleanup probably took longer than the tasks. There was plenty of help to clean up after pressing the California Cab. Using a plastic knife, we had to […]