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monty

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Hi everyone,

I am a new member here, and wanted to introduce myself. I am from the Philadelphia area, and I've been making wine since 2012. I started out making it in the basement of a row house I was renting in the city. I had a pretty good operation going with the utility sink and the washer and dryer as my work surfaces. It had a 6' ceiling, and I'm 6'-1", so it wasn't ideal but you learn to work in a wide stance!

I am a DIY'er so I picked up The Homebuilt Winery book, and built a few of the projects including the fermentation chamber (it was ok), the bottle tree (still a great tool!), and a diamond bottle rack to store my wines and empty bottles.

After a few years my wife and I bought a house and moved out to the suburbs to start a family. We have two really cool little girls. This house, however, did NOT have a good setup for my wine making hobby even though it was twice the size. The kitchen was very small, and the only access to the basement was through bilco doors on the outside of the house. So I had to take a few years off starting any new batches. I did bottle a few carboys that I moved with us. Recently we did a large renovation to our house which doubled the size of our kitchen, AND I put in an interior staircase to the basement. Winery Phase 1, complete!

This at least allowed me to get started again, so this past fall harvest was my first batch started in the new house. Just a modest 12 gallons of Montepulciano (Monty's Pulciano), but it feels really good to be back at it!

I'll be starting at least two other threads in the near future to get some help from the community:

First I'll be working on getting my entire wine operation into the basement. I'll be looking to build another diamond bottle rack (The last one was too big to move out of the old basement, so I gifted it to the landlord!), an insulated carboy/barrel storage room for proper climate control, a sink and work surfaces, and probably a lot more. I'll be taking these projects one step at a time when I do have time to work on it. Dad life is a busy life! Once again I'm stuck with a 6' ceiling, and I have some longer term plans of lowering the floor of the basement for eventually completely finish it. But for now, this is what I've got and I'm sure it's more than many.

The second thread I plan to start is one to have my wine making process critiqued. When I got started I found I was sourcing different aspects of my process for all different books, websites, or other sources. I decided I would document MY process so that I can have some consistency. When I decide to change something, I update the document so I know for next time. Thank the lord I did that, because it made getting started again so much easier! So I plan to share this document for others to give their input. Maybe it will help some others get started too.

This post was a lot longer than I intended, so if you made it this far thanks for reading and looking forward to joining the community!

TLDR: Hi I'm Monty, and I'm new here. I had to take a a few years off from wine making, but I'm back at it. Starting a new home winery, and looking to get input on my wine making process.
 

pgentile

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Hey Monty, I started making wine around the same time you did. In a row home in Philly with a 6' basement. Luckily for me though I'm only 5'8". Good luck with the winery and wines. There are many here who have built some amazing basement wineries, you'll get some good advice.
 

wrongway

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Welcome Monty, Good to hear that you are back into wine making!
 

monty

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Hey Monty, I started making wine around the same time you did. In a row home in Philly with a 6' basement. Luckily for me though I'm only 5'8". Good luck with the winery and wines. There are many here who have built some amazing basement wineries, you'll get some good advice.
What part of Philly? Are you still in the area?
 

pgentile

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Wow that is crazy...my first home winery was at 20th and Pemberton, right around the corner. Ten Stone was my spot for several years!
Ha, I shot darts there up until about 10 years ago. Haven't been in there in a while. Yup 20th and Pemberton two blocks away.
 

Sachayoj

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Hi everyone,
This at least allowed me to get started again, so this past fall harvest was my first batch started in the new house. Just a modest 12 gallons of Montepulciano (Monty's Pulciano), but it feels really good to be back at it!

Hi Monty, welcome!
I am also new to this forum and as I you, made 12 gal of Montepulciano wine form grapes I've got here in the Caucasus. I would be very interested to find out your experience with this grape and eventually compare results, at least virtually.
 

Sachayoj

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Hi Monty, I think I even managed to get it wrong in my posting. welcome!
 

monty

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This would be my first foray into Montepulciano, so I'll let you know how it goes! Always been one of my favorite commercial wines, although can be hard to find, so I decided to make 12 gallons of my own!
 
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I made it through the whole post! Found it rather interesting. I am very new to wine making. In fact, I have not even started my first batch yet so I would be thrilled to read what you have compiled over the years!
 

Chuck E

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I made it through the whole post! Found it rather interesting. I am very new to wine making. In fact, I have not even started my first batch yet so I would be thrilled to read what you have compiled over the years!
Welcome. This is a hobby that grows on you.
 

monty

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I made it through the whole post! Found it rather interesting. I am very new to wine making. In fact, I have not even started my first batch yet so I would be thrilled to read what you have compiled over the years!
Thanks for reading! I made a post on the General forum which lays out my process. Link to that post below. Hope it's helpful! One thing I've found is I never stop learning and tweaking my process. There is so much more I'd like to learn (wine lab type stuff in the near future) and improve my ability to make consistently great wines.

https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/montys-wine-making-process.68700/#post-720325
 
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