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Making Commercial Grade Wine at Home

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mainshipfred

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I just found out about a class being offered at one of my local wineries. The class description is "Making Commercial Grade Wine at Home" . It's being taught by a Winemaker who makes wine for 5 different wineries. This appears to be our ultimate goal so I signed up for the class. Starts in January and is 4 two hour classes. Timing should be perfect for the spring grapes.
 

GreenEnvy22

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I've been considering doing something similar. I have no plans to make wine commercially, but would love to learn more. Our local university offers some night classes which I may sign up for.
 

Sage

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Define "commercial grade wine"??

That doesn't sound like something I want. I don't want generic, always the same wine.
 

winemanden

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I assume it's a quality type grading, probably not a question of individual taste. I'm in my eighties now, still learning, but I've always believed you can learn a lot from other people.:h
 

salcoco

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some commercial wines are the same vintage to vintage. that is because the buyer wants it that way. once the buyers find a wine they like they want it to be he same all of the time. commercial wineries follow the crowd tastes. if you want special wines make them yourself or pay for the upper 50's for specific vintage wines.
 

NorCal

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I’ve found that the things that separate home winemakers from quality small (5k case) commercial wineries is: knowledge, quality fruit, temp control of fermentation and lab equipment.
 

mainshipfred

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@mainshipfred - So did you go to the class? Care to give a review and your impressions of the experience?
I posted some of the topics in other threads, probably should have posted them here. The class was great and you could tell the instructor really enjoyed sharing his knowledge and experience. He has a masters in Bio-Chemistry and would sometimes go over my head with some of the equations but you got the concept which is all I think he was trying got get across. On a regular basis he emphasized his processes might not be shared by other winemakers which is pretty consistent with this forum. @NorCal hit it on the head with the 5K case sized winemakers and not the mass production guys who do make the same wine year after year. They do regulate the fermentation temps especially in whites. Grape quality is another issue. This winery grows most of their own grapes in several areas of Virginia. The season and harvest conditions differ from year to year so naturally does the quality of the grapes. They make the wine with the hand they are dealt making adjustments they think to be the most beneficial. They use the same yeast we do just in larger quantities and always inoculate with more then one yeast in different batches. Because of their experience with yeasts they use the yeast they think will most benefit the wine rather then, as we sometimes do, use a yeast with a proven success rate. The same goes for MLF. There is so much more but I don't want to bore you or create controversy.
 

Ajmassa

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Not boring. Interesting. This is a winemaking forum after all.
I think that’s great Fred. I can’t get enough. Lately I’ve been listening to podcasts while working at home. On an iphone the podcast area pre-loaded in there. Search “winemaking” and I’ve got hours and hours of of episodes from the few different shows dedicated to home winemakers.
Topics vary. Some general for newcomers. Others specific regarding basically all the same stuff discussed here. Think I’m in Full blown addiction status now.
 

zadvocate

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Did this class touch upon additives? Finishing tannins, enzymes etc....
 

mainshipfred

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Did this class touch upon additives? Finishing tannins, enzymes etc....
It did, especially yeast nutrients, fermentation tannins and the selection of yeasts. As far as finishing he said to always adjust the acid before tannins. I can't remember but you either mix acid with water and tannins with wine or the other way around. There are several types of both fermentation and finishing (aging) tannins that benefit different wines in different ways. The way he adjusted acid was interesting. 3 glasses of wine where he sprinkled different amounts of acid then all were tasted along with the base. When the preferred glass was selected he adjusted the bulk to meet 1/2 the ph adjustment of the sample. Similar to what most of us do. This particular winemaker is really fond of dry wines so he rarley does any backsweetening. But if he did he will never use sorbates. His solution is sterile filtering. hope this answers your questions.
 

Kiazer

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some commercial wines are the same vintage to vintage. that is because the buyer wants it that way. once the buyers find a wine they like they want it to be he same all of the time. commercial wineries follow the crowd tastes. if you want special wines make them yourself or pay for the upper 50's for specific vintage wines.
You are correct...if you want to make $$$ fast make them sweet and fruity,Wine just Like politics only 10% OF THE PEOPLE GET INTO THE DETAILS
 

tjgaul

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Not boring. Interesting. This is a winemaking forum after all.
I think that’s great Fred. I can’t get enough. Lately I’ve been listening to podcasts while working at home. On an iphone the podcast area pre-loaded in there. Search “winemaking” and I’ve got hours and hours of of episodes from the few different shows dedicated to home winemakers.
Topics vary. Some general for newcomers. Others specific regarding basically all the same stuff discussed here. Think I’m in Full blown addiction status now.
On that note . . . I'm all caught up on Grape Radio so I've been listening to the "I'll Drink to That" podcast. Most of the time it focuses on sommeliers, but there are many interesting episodes that deal with detailed aspects of grape growing and wine making. The recent podcast with the fellow from DIAM closures was really enlightening on the topic of corks. Much of the information is probably more practical for the commercial guys, but it's fascinating to me nonetheless.
 
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