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.

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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.

It’s Cold Storage For My Wines

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Gąsior

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The Italian juices have finished fermintation (specific gravity is .996 or below). I racked them and cleaned the carboys to get rid of sledge and racked wine back into carboys. The juice is technically a wine now. It tastes like wine and has an alcohol content. They may be young still and their taste will develop with time. After racking I added 1/4 tsp of sulphite to protect the wine for long term storage. Most will be drunk in 2-3 years but some may last for 6-7 yaers in the bottle. I moved the carboys to a temperature controlled room (cold storage) where I store all my bottles. They will sit here until I need the carboys to start the cycle over again. Then I will bottle the wines and store them in cold storage.

It’s a Good Time of the Year

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St Sadurni d'Anoia - Cordoniu Grid - Shoes on ...

Image by Shoes on Wires via Flickr

My Californian juices and Rioja kits are finished fermentation and have been moved to cold storage (a room that stays at 55 degrees F for wine aging) along with my bottles of wine from previous years. My Italian juices are still in secondary fermentation. The specific gravity is around 1.000. After it gets down to .996 or lower, secondary fermentation will be finished. I will then rack off the wine and get rid of any sediments, add water to bring juice back to 6 gallon level and add a 1/4 teaspoon of Potassium Metasulfite to help it age longer. I enjoy drinking my wines 3 years old or older. I typically set aside 5-10 bottles of the 30 for long-term storage (Reserve bottles). I have drunk some of these as old as 6 years. Once the Italians are moved to cold storage there isn’t much to do. I will rack at least one more time to ensure a clear crisp wine. In the spring I buy my Chilean juices and bottle the Californians, Rioja and Italians. The process starts all over again. Home made wine is so much better than most wines to buy commercially.