Apr 16 2015

If your winemaking skills are still at the neophyte stage then begin by making just a small batch of fine wine. By doing so, you will be able to set aside a sample to taste and ensure that the results are what you were hoping for. After harvesting your grapevines, begin by emptying them into a container or vat where they will be thoroughly crushed. Traditionally people would use their feet to crush the grapes, however, for the more squeamish you may wish to use a potato masher or simply use your hands to achieve the best results.

As a tip to help prevent premature fermentation, it is advised to add campden tablets to the grapes after they have been crushed in the vat. One tablet per gallon should suffice. After you have done so, cover the container with a thin towel and leave it for a full day.

After you have done so, stir in a packet of wine (not bread) yeast and use your hands to remove remaining stems and comb through the grape juice. Try and leave just a few cluster stems in the mixture to avoid the wine tasting too stem-like. Again, cover the container with a light towel in order to prevent any bacteria or fruit flies getting into the mixture and leave for at most a week. After two days the mixture should of started fixing and by day three it should look as though it is boiling.

After a week has passed, check on your wine and if the fizzing has subsided it is almost ready to be bottled and left to age. If you are lucky enough to have a wine press, use it to separate the wine from any skins, seeds and pulp. Next, pour the wine through a funnel and strainer into a clean, empty wine bottle.

By now, the wine should have been exposed to an adequate amount of air which is beneficial however; after it has been placed in the bottle it is crucial that only a sufficient amount of air touches the wine. It is for this reason that wine bottles are placed on their side with a cork stop.

Now your wine is ready to be placed in your wine rack so it can age in style.