Cellar Craft 12L California Reserve Old Vine Zinfandel Kit

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Feb 23, 2009
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I have this kit on the way, and as soon as one of my primaries frees up I want to start this one.. It is 10.5L of concentrate with a 1.5L grape pack.. Has anyone made this kit? If so, any pointers??? I am trying to soak up as much knowledge of this kit as possible before I start it.. My wife and I love Old Vine Zinfandels and are looking forward to having this in our cellar. It will be my first experience with a grape pack...
This will be one of the best kits you'll ever make, the best one of course is the Showcase edition of the Lodi, LOVZ is the best, Of course, thats just my opinion.

Make the kits exactly per the instructions, and make sure there is minimum air contact. I have made this kit several times and sometimes it comes out with that vinegar taste...... from to much exposure I'm sure. YOU MUST LET THIS WINE AGE AT LEAST A YEAR, 2 WOULD BE BETTER! Seriously, after 2 years it's great. If you can get your hands on some 187 ML bottles do up a dozen of them or so for sampling throughout the year. You won't regret waiting. Good luck and keep us up to date.........

Oh yea...... I like pictures! A lot of pics.
I am going to start this kit this weekend hopefully.. It's going to be in the 80s here for the first time since last summer, so my plan may change.. :D I have read on another forum of people using raisins in this kit with very good results. One actually one a gold medal with it at the Winemaker Magazine contest.. I was going to use 1 lb of Zante Currant, a vinifera type, raisins. I am going to mince them up, put them in a hop sack, and tie it off to a coffee cup, sanitized of course.. This will keep them towards the bottom of the fermentor. I also want to keep it in the primary for a full 2 weeks or until fermentation is complete. I will be using the grape pack which comes with the kit also.. Anyone see any potential problems with this plan?? Also, to get the most out of the grape pack should it be squeezed out at any point??


I have put rasins in a few wines. I would put 1-2#'s in. Keep in mind the rasins will EXPAND alot so I question putting it in a sack. I would just put them in your fermenting bucket. You can use a strainer to collect them. You may want to punch it down in the begining. I would not wring them out.
Keep us posted. :b
I don't remember if there were the same kits but about 4 years ago or so I made two Cellar Craft grape pack kits that were the best kits I ever made. It was a Rosso Fortissimo and an Amarone kit. I bought them from a vendor that closed them out and got them for like $40.00 a kit. They were absolutely fantastic and both gold medal winners at the Winemaker and Indy Wine competitions. I have 2 bottles of each kit saved back that I am going to drink on their 5th anniversary.
All went very well starting this kit.. The Zante raisins are very small to begin with and after dicing them up I put them in a large hop/grain sack to make it easier to siphon later.. Happily fermenting at this point..

Another update here.. Transferred this one to secondary last week at 1.004.. Transfer went very smooth, and along with the wine, I also transferred the american medium toast oak spirals I used in primary. St Francis OVZ is one of our favorites and is very high on the oak scale, so trying to mimmick that one here. Still getting very fine bubbles rising to the surface and SG was at 0.996 last night, so I guessing at least another week until I clear it..

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