Making wine again, after a break of 35 years!

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Watersilk

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Hello everyone!

We have started making wine again! My wine journey began as a child. I collected some mulberries in a bottle and they started to ferment. My mother said, why don't we try making some wine? It all got well out of hand, at one time we had 70 gallons quietly bubbling away in the cellar, in Essex, England.

After spending 30 years living in a tropical desert in Africa, my wife and I returned to England, where I continued my wine studies with WSET level 3, and worked for a while with Majestic Wine. Last year, when taking our beloved classic Citroën 2CV for her MOT in Cambridgeshire, we picked Sloes and Rosehips in the hedgerows to make two gallons of wine to resume our winemaking saga.

vb3tKxw.jpg


To be honest, it felt quite odd, I knew the theory, but it had been so long since we did this! The growing season of 2021 was awful, such an overcast summer, not enough sun for ripening and sugar production in the fruit, but we have tried, I just hope we have made something worth drinking. We had a go again this October, the sloes were much better this year, when you could find them, hopefully we have made a much better wine this time, using a cool fermenting yeast.

Last year's vintage, now bottled!

ER1MPLX.jpg


Making the labels was the most difficult part, I just couldn't find any help or advice regarding this on the internet.

E3sVII6.jpg


It's good to be back though. it's a wonderful feeling to create something, and for such little money!

If you have any label making tips, please share them!

Thank you for reading.
 

Watersilk

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Welcome back to the hobby and welcome to WMT!
Many here use Avery Design&Print, simple and free.
Love the car!!
Thank you BigDaveK,

I really struggled to make those labels! I also, finally, found the Avery site. I had decided that I could fit six labels on an A4 sheet of paper, my thinking was that the smallest quantity of wine I would make is a gallon, so six bottles. I just couldn't find a template, I work with Pages (Apple) and there seemed to be a complete absence of templates for labels! Then I found the Avery site, they have so many formats, I found a six per sheet that was perfect. Getting all the information to stay within the borders was another story! I printed them, then cut them out by hand, I do need to use a guillotine next time.

A lot has changed since I was last making wine! I remember just cutting random pieces of paper and writing by hand, something like, Rosehip, October 1985; that was it! Really, though, that is all you need, I just wanted them to look more like a professional product so I could con myself into thinking I was making something... special :).

Oh the car! Yes, she is amazing! She is better now than when she was new, some 36 years ago! It's quite funny that back in 1986, it was totally socially unacceptable to have one of these cars; people were just horrified that we owned one.

Thank you again for the friendly welcome!
 
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Welcome to WMT!

I use Avery Design & Print -- there are better graphics programs available, but getting the right template and making a single label scale across a page is tough. Many moons ago I used MS Word, created a label, and then duplicated it 5 times to fill a page.

Check the Bottles, Labels, & Corks forum:

 

Bmd2k1

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Hello everyone!

We have started making wine again! My wine journey began as a child. I collected some mulberries in a bottle and they started to ferment. My mother said, why don't we try making some wine? It all got well out of hand, at one time we had 70 gallons quietly bubbling away in the cellar, in Essex, England.

After spending 30 years living in a tropical desert in Africa, my wife and I returned to England, where I continued my wine studies with WSET level 3, and worked for a while with Majestic Wine. Last year, when taking our beloved classic Citroën 2CV for her MOT in Cambridgeshire, we picked Sloes and Rosehips in the hedgerows to make two gallons of wine to resume our winemaking saga.

vb3tKxw.jpg


To be honest, it felt quite odd, I knew the theory, but it had been so long since we did this! The growing season of 2021 was awful, such an overcast summer, not enough sun for ripening and sugar production in the fruit, but we have tried, I just hope we have made something worth drinking. We had a go again this October, the sloes were much better this year, when you could find them, hopefully we have made a much better wine this time, using a cool fermenting yeast.

Last year's vintage, now bottled!

ER1MPLX.jpg


Making the labels was the most difficult part, I just couldn't find any help or advice regarding this on the internet.

E3sVII6.jpg


It's good to be back though. it's a wonderful feeling to create something, and for such little money!

If you have any label making tips, please share them!

Thank you for reading.
Welcome back!

I too have been using the free label making tools on www.avery.com . I then take the created PDF to my local print shop (Kinkos) and have them color laser printed.

Cheers and Good Luck :)
 

Watersilk

Junior
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Welcome back!

I too have been using the free label making tools on www.avery.com . I then take the created PDF to my local print shop (Kinkos) and have them color laser printed.

Cheers and Good Luck :)
Hello Bmd2k1,

I printed my labels in monochrome because I don't think that they are are good enough to deserve a colour print treat. The coat of arms needs some more work, also, I don't expect the wine inside the bottles to be that good; it was a first effort for a long time. The sloes in particular were not as ripe as they should have been, only when picking sloes 'this' October, did I realise what they 'should' have been like before picking; the 2021 growing season was quite bad in England.

You have got me thinking though, if this year's vintage tastes much better at the time of bottling, I will be taking that pdf to a print shop; Kinkos might be a bit too far though :)

Cheers!
 

Rice_Guy

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welcome to Wine Making Talk, sounds like you are a fruit wine maker, me too.

My labels are a long life vinyl, brand & logo/ color/ made by statement, that come from evermine (a web printer). The next printing will also say “return for refill”. They don't have a contents statement. They start as .jpg photos which get cropped and then text is added.

the bottle contents/ quality numbers/ year label is an Arvey mailing label, which comes off bottles with a little water, ,,, so that bottles can be recycled.
I should add carboys tags currently are card stock held on the neck with rubber band, this has racking dates and major info as ingredient & starting numbers/ impression. This transfers to the next carboy at racking.
 
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Watersilk

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Welcome to WMT!

I use Avery Design & Print -- there are better graphics programs available, but getting the right template and making a single label scale across a page is tough. Many moons ago I used MS Word, created a label, and then duplicated it 5 times to fill a page.

Check the Bottles, Labels, & Corks forum:

Yes, it is a bit of a trial, once everything was there, I did the same, just selected and duplicated; but, it's not perfect, there are still a couple of things that I need to work on, then I might progress into colour!
 

Watersilk

Junior
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welcome to Wine Making Talk, sounds like you are a fruit wine maker, me too.

My labels are a long life vinyl, brand & logo/ color/ made by statement, that come from evermine (a web printer). The next printing will also say “return for refill”. They don't have a contents statement. They start as .jpg photos which get cropped and then text is added.

the bottle contents/ quality numbers
/ year label is an Arvey mailing label, which comes off bottles with a little water, ,,, so that bottles can be recycled.
I should add carboys tags currently are card stock held on the neck with rubber band, this has racking dates and major info as ingredient & starting numbers/ impression. This transfers to the next carboy at racking.
Hello Rice_Guy,

Good heavens! I've heard of long-life milk, but long-life vinyl is new for me. May I ask if you just produce for your own consumption, or do you produce commercially? I guess the Inland Revenue doesn't read these posts...

I use that same system for demijohns, a recycled piece of cardboard cut from packaging, I then write the name of the wine and vintage, with a code identifying the particular demijohn. All the stages in the process, racking etc, are recorded in a database. Like yours, with each racking, the label is attached to the next demijohn by the rubber band; I'm glad to learn I got 'something' right :)

Thank you for sharing your process.
 

Watersilk

Junior
Joined
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Messages
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19
Location
London
welcome to Wine Making Talk, sounds like you are a fruit wine maker, me too.

My labels are a long life vinyl, brand & logo/ color/ made by statement, that come from evermine (a web printer). The next printing will also say “return for refill”. They don't have a contents statement. They start as .jpg photos which get cropped and then text is added.

the bottle contents/ quality numbers
/ year label is an Arvey mailing label, which comes off bottles with a little water, ,,, so that bottles can be recycled.
I should add carboys tags currently are card stock held on the neck with rubber band, this has racking dates and major info as ingredient & starting numbers/ impression. This transfers to the next carboy at racking.
Oh, I forgot to mention, yes mostly fruit. We used to make vast quantities (for home consumption) I hope that the Inland Revenue read this, and fruit seemed to pop up with regularity among our many successes. We have tried other sources, oak leaf, potato, strange things that someone has written a recipe for, but often they were not much of a success at all; potato is a case in point, who in their right mind would make a wine from potato, then write a recipe and publish it? We were stupid enough to try it. One rule of life, don't believe everything you read in books.... but at least you learn through mistakes! We are NOT trying potato wine again.

Of course, someone here will be thinking, this is an opportunity missed, we should have distilled it and made it into vodka!

One non fruit wine I remember making that was a success was parsnip, I'm tempted to try that one again.
 
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