ForReal Lemoncello … Go to Italy’s Amalfi Coast

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English: Cetara on the Amalfi coast, Italy

English: Cetara on the Amalfi coast, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you get to go to Capri or the Amalfi Coast area of Italy, try the lemoncello. It is made from large lemons that are sweeter than ours. This area of Italy prides itself in the making and drinking of great Lemoncello‘s. We tried them in each bar we stopped at. They can differ from place to place but are all great tasting.

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.

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.

Fall is here which means Californian & Italian Juices!

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A glass of pinot grigio wine.

A glass of pinot grigio wine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just picked up my smallest order to date – (2) Californian buckets of juice. One is a Chardonnay and the other a Pinot Noir. Next month I have (2) Italians coming in as well – one a Pinot Grigio and the other a Chianti. I have a few thousand bottles in my cellar so I needed to cut back and start enjoying the older wines. I also replaced my siphons with new ones. This is important as they can get dirty. Even santitizing them may not clear out all the problems. I am getting Married May 25, 2013 so I made some extra Chilean wines last spring. Some of these we created a special wedding label for. We took pictyures from our trip to Italy and used them to create a nice wine label. I found great labels from onlinelabels.com They are OL150 WR labels. I likethem because they are full size wine labels and are removable. As long as they don’t get too wet, you can easily peel them off.

Winter and Racking Time

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Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than ...

Image via Wikipedia

Usually I don’t mind racking in the winter. Afterall there isn’t much else to do when it’s cold outside. This year delivered one of the warmest winters in history to the northeast. With that said, I racked my Californian & Italian juices this week as well as two kits (Rioja). As I rack each wine, I try a small sample to see how it’s progressing. The Californian Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir were both great but still young. The Italian Barolo was great and could be drunk now. The Italian Brunello and Chianti were also great but still young. Brunellos typically take 4 to 5 years to reach a great mature flavor. The Rioja kits were magnificent and ready to drink. None of these will be drunk yet. I will bottle them in April, freeing up carboys and demijohns for this years Chilean wines. They will sit in cold storage for 2 to 3 years minimum and then be enjoyed. Hears to the great taste of wine!

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