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Wine Making Talk

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Spikedlemon

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I was a newbie into this last winter. I started with a simple boxwine kit off Amazon and a trip to the local HBS where they did all the work for my first few batches.

Now, a year into it, I understand all the comments about "let it sit", "give it a few months", and the like. Because, today, I have a completely full wine rack and multiple carboys with dates written on them just sitting there gathering time! With a full rack of wine to drink: I'm now in zero rush to bottle (except to free up carboys for new ideas).

I picked 'quick' wines for my first year, 4-6 week kind of wines, and I don't regret it at all. It allowed me to amass quite a stock of wines I can drink early while I make more wine and think about what I want. And, now, as I have such a backlog: I need to start shopping for wines that NEED the time as I simply can't get around to bottling & drinking them fast enough!

And a quick thanks to all out there for getting me through the first few batches and my inexperience.
 

Stevelaz

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How about juice buckets? Chilean season is coming up and they have excellent juice! This is my 3rd year of wine making and very happy with the Merlot Chilean juice! i usually let it go to about a year, then bottle to get ready for next batch. It would even be better to let it go longer. I also recently tried a Amarone kit so as to have something i can drink sooner. And also dragon blood and skeeter pee for summer drinking.
 

milant

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How about juice buckets? Chilean season is coming up and they have excellent juice! This is my 3rd year of wine making and very happy with the Merlot Chilean juice!
Sorry to hijack the thread, but how does go about getting bucket of grape juice from Chile?
 

Ajmassa

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Look into any of your local homebrew/winemaking shops. Most of the shops near me are the middleman for the big suppliers and take small orders to be picked up at the shop. There's also a produce supplier in my area that distributes Cali juice in the fall. Usually there's only a 2 week window timeframe if they have refrigeration. If they don't it's a 1 day window.
They usually require a pre-order for spring. Since fall is coming from mostly Cali I don't need to pre-order.
If your local shop doesn't do spring harvest then they probably know who does. And Get on their e-mail list if you can.
 

Spikedlemon

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How about juice buckets? Chilean season is coming up and they have excellent juice! This is my 3rd year of wine making and very happy with the Merlot Chilean juice! i usually let it go to about a year, then bottle to get ready for next batch. It would even be better to let it go longer. I also recently tried a Amarone kit so as to have something i can drink sooner. And also dragon blood and skeeter pee for summer drinking.
That's actually my plan with a local vineyard come September/October: they're on my list to order a few buckets of red & white and make it an annual thing.
I made a Baco Noir (which did not turn out well) and a Sauv Blanc (which turned out well) last year from the vineyard. It's all about learning!

My Dragon's Blood mead is sitting in the carboy waiting for me to look at it again - I plan to rack it and bottle it for summer drinking this year.

The experimentation, like my DB mead, is great fun. As is visiting the vineyard to talk to them about different yeast/combinations to make wine from fresh grapes & juice (they do the first pressing for reds).
 

milant

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All of them want you to pick it up and I cannot seem to find anybody that will deliver to west Texas. :(
 

Ajmassa

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You could look forever but I don't think your ever going to find one. Unless your greasing the palm of someone with a refrigerated truck. Out of the few fresh bucket suppliers that I live within an hour drive from (I think 6 places) I have never come across one that delivers. With good reason. Too many negative possibilities with delivery. Accounting for the perfect refrigeration temp, wild yeast, easily spilled, and it's just simply messy. Pick-up day always ends sticky.
The bigger produce supplier I use in fall I believe are directly receiving from the vineyards, unlike all the shops. And even they won't deliver. The shops will often rent trucks for their pickup to their location for sales.
Not sure how long your drive would be or how much wine you can handle at once, but I would suggest to do whatever you needed to do to make it happen. 2 hour drive? Buy multiple pales and Crank that AC. There's just something about buying fresh juice or grapes that makes all
The hassle worth it. It's a hella good feeling driving home with that smell in the air. I'm biased though and fresh pales get me sentimental going back to my childhood. I would never drive far for a kit. But fresh juice and/or grape just feels "right".
 
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