It’s Spring, it must be time to bottle the Californians & Italians

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English: Three bottles of Pinot Gris taken Apr...

English: Three bottles of Pinot Gris taken April 2nd, 2007 Bottle 1.) Italian Pinot Grigio Mezzacorona 2005 Bottle 2.) Alsatian Pinot Gris Trimbach Reserve 2002 Bottle 3.) Oregon Pinot Gris Eyrie Vineyards 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

yesterday I bottled my Californians & Italian wines. I had (2) 6 gallon carboys of each yielding 120 bottles of great wine. The (2) whites were a Californian Chardonnay and an Italian Pinot Grigio. The (2) reds were a Californian Pinot Noir and an Italian Chianti. They all tasted young but great. I bottled them and they are sitting upright in the box to allow corks to dry. Next week I will cap each bottle and flip them upside down for cold storage. I have been producing much more than we drink or give away so that we can build up the wine cellar. This allows us to drink 3-5 year old wines. Yum

The (2) whites were racked several times and are so clear you can easily see through them. A beautiful gold color.

All racked Up & No Place to Go

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limoncello

limoncello (Photo credit: Shamballah)

I racked my (2) Californians and (2) Italians one last time before bottling in end of April. The (2) whites were so clear I could see through them clearly. They all tasted great. I will bottle in April and then into cold storage for aging. The Lemoncello was so yellow! I added sugar water and rest of vodka and it is now a little cloudy. It needs to sit until end of April. It should get a good yellow color by then. Then I will strain out lemon peels and bottle it. Lemoncello must be drunk iced in freezer for months. It won’t freeze but it will get syrupy and take the harsh edge off the vodka. Enjoy. Let me know what you are making.

Status Update

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The lemoncello is getting very yellow. It’s looking real good!

 

My two Californians and 2 Italian wines have been racked several times and are clear. The 2 whites are golden and very clear. I will be bottling in early may.

 

This summer I will be doing several kits for fall and winter wine production. I know I want a Cabernet Sauvignon, Barolo, Rioja, Chianti,

English: Cropped image of Cabernet Sauvignon g...

English: Cropped image of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Hedges Vineyards in Red Mountain, Washington. Photo taken August 28th, 2007 with a Kodak z650 camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sangiovese, and several whites. We will see what’s available. Stay posted!

 

I opened a 2007 wine from my reserve section. WOW was that great! When you can make such great wine, age it to perfection and enjoy it…that’s wine making.

Lemoncello

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a bottle of home-made Limoncello (made by me)

a bottle of home-made Limoncello (made by me) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We will be going to Capri, Sorrento & Positano Italy this summer. These are places that enjoy a great lemoncello. Their lemons are much bigger than ours but we can make a decent lemoncello here. My son-in-law approached me to do this and I thought it was a great idea. I normally only make grape based wines. I am not into the other fruits or harder alcoholic drinks. The recipe below is the one we used. I will keep you informed how it turns out.

45 Lemons

6 bottles of vodka (750ml – 100 proof)

12 Cups of sugar

15 Cups of water

DIRECTIONS:

Wash the lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water to remove any reside of pesticides or wax; pat the lemons dry.

Carefully zest the lemons with a zester or vegetable peeler so there is no white pith on the peel. NOTE: Use only the outer part of the rind. The pith, the white part underneath the rind, is too bitter and would spoil your limoncello. Check out my web page on How to Zest.

Step One:
In a large glass jar (1-gallon jar), add one bottle of vodka; add the lemon zest as it is zested. Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for at least (10) ten days and up to (40) days in a cool dark place. The longer it rests, the better the taste will be. (There is no need to stir – all you have to do is wait.) As the limoncello sits, the vodka slowly take on the flavor and rich yellow color of the lemon zest.

Step Two:
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water; cook until thickened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Let the syrup cool before adding it to the Limoncello mixture. Add to the Limoncello mixture from Step One. Add the additional bottle of vodka. Allow to rest for another 10 to 40 days.

Step Three:
After the rest period, strain and bottle: discarding the lemon zest. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.

Source: epicurious.com

Kits or Juice or Grapes; That is the question

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Grapes contain certain polyphenol antioxidant ...

Grapes contain certain polyphenol antioxidant compounds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People that make homemade wine are presented with three pasic ways of making their wine:

  1. Grapes – Crush the juice from fresh grapes
  2. Must – Buy the juice in bulk and use it
  3. Kits – Buy a kit of concentrated juice and use it

I usually use the must method since crushing grapes is too much work and is meshy. I sometimes use kits especially for varietals I can’t get as must. This May the Chilean’s are out and for the first time in over 10 years I won’t be doing them. I am getting married! I will however buy some kits and do them in the summer. Kits are about 60% more expensive but in my opinion make a better wine. Many places sell kits now.

Amazing Clarity in White Wine

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This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy)...

This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy) with white wine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am always amazed at how clear I can get my white wines. When I first move them from the primary fermentor to secondary (glass), they are VERY cloudy almost milky. After 30 to 45 days they have cleared and I rack off the clear wine and throw away the sediment at the bottom. After  or 3 rackings, the white wine is crystal clear! After all who wants to drink a white wine that is not clear? Enjoy your wine making.

2012 Italian Juices

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I just picked up my 2012 Italian juice. I got one Pinot Grigio and one Chianti. I have several thousand bottles in storage so my production is being cut back a bit. I will let you know how these juices go.

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