My brief history of winemaking:
My first attempt at wine was a 2 gal batch of mango wine, started because sams club had pallets of the tasty things and I had been toying with the idea of making some kinda wine for quite some time. It turned out with high alc. content, kinda acidic, but drinkable. all gone.
Thefollowing autumn(last year), I started another 2 gal batch, and blindly purchased some almost completely fermented chancellor and chambourcin juices(5 gal ea.) from a local winery. As of right now, the mango wine is ageing, but probably is never going to be clear, the chancellor turned into vinegar, and the chambourcin seems to be ready to add some more meta and bottle. It might actually be o.k.
right now,I'm doing a 'world vineyards california pinot noir' kit, which is in the clarifying stage right now and will be ready to bottle around the new year.
I'm doing the kit project for a couple of reasons. First, I needed to learn from the ground up how to get from A to Z. My initial concept of making wine was 'put some juice in a jar with yeast and rack it a bunch of times and then bottle it'.
PERIOD. no chemicals, no testing, no idea of what was going to come out the other end. Not surprisingly, I ended up with one batch of vinegar and some other stuff that's drinkable, but not what you would call 'nice wine'.
So, I got a good wine book that was suggested reading, some supplies and testing equipment, and took a few steps back.
I didn't get into this with the intention of learning chemistry, but that's kinda where it's going at this early stage. And I'm trying to learn the basics from the blogs like this one.
Eventually, I would like to get back to making wine from fresh juices instead of kits. The kits sure are easy, but I would like to have a bit more of my own hand in what I turn out, as opposed to just going through the motions.