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Hey everyone. Just wondering if anyone knows of any resources to be able to print out a list of aging times for different kinds of wine. Things like cabernet sauvignon is redily available, and from what I have read, 5 to 20 years is the aging rate, 5 being the lowest. Although it did say that you can drink cabernet after the first year.
This is my list of species I am currently growing:
Cabernet sauvignon,
Gewurztraminer,
Marechal Froch,
Frontenac,
Frontenac Blanc,
Frontenac Gris,
Fredonia,
Baco Noir,
La Crosse,
Osceola Muscat,
NY Muscat,
Mars,
Marquis.
Now, I know Mars and Marquis, and even Fredonia, are primarily table grapes, although Fredonia is known for making sweet light red wines. But the rest of these I bought specifically for their wine attributes. I've had wines from most of these varieties which is why I tried to choose varieties I was familiar with their taste, as well as a few varieties I had never had before. At least not knowingly. Possibly in blends, but, Not sure.
Next spring I will also be picking up a vine of Riesling and zinfandel, two other varieties I am quite familiar with the taste.
Even though I am familiar with the taste of these wines, I am not familiar with the process of wine making in any form of hands on experience. I've watched maybe 2000 videos over the years on how to make wine, and honestly, they have left me more confused then anything else. There has to be 500 different "Tutorial" videos out there, and every one of them is different.
I will be buying a grape crusher, fixing up an old wine press that my grandfather used to use to make wine himself, stainless steel fermenting vats, and oak barrels. Starting with just small 3 to 5 gallon vats and barrels at first, and as I produce more, and make new vines, I will upgrade those to larger vats and barrels.
But, I still do not know the proper aging times for each of the species I have, with the exception of the cabernet Sauvignon and the Riesling. Nor do I know the proper process for each variety. I have heard that some wines need to start in stainless steel and then be moved to oak barrels after the first fermentation process. Then I've also heard that this was a myth.
I would be very grateful is anyone knows of any detailed wine making resources where I can find accurate and proper information for these different kinds of grape varieties, and the proper fermentation process and times. As I have stated, I've watched TONS of videos on YouTube and it has left me more confused than anything.
This will be my first time making wine myself, and I have also been looking into the process of making Vinegar which seems to be very similar to wine, with the exception that a cheese cloth is put over the fermentation vat to allow the juice to be exposed to the air unlike wine which is closed and sealed.
As of right now, I only have one vine each of these different varieties, and I do not want to waste precious juice by doing the wrong thing.
Also, I have seen through different videos that there are different types of yeast used for different kinds of wine. Now, I don't know if that means reds, whites, port, and rose, or if it means like a different kind of yeast for cabernet compared to baco noir.
Again, Any and all information will be greatly appreciated. Thank You in advance everyone.
 

winemaker81

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There's no such thing as aging times by variety.

The lifespan of any wine depends up on ABV, acid, tannin, residual sugar, and other factors. Climate, rainfall, average temperature during season, age of vines, yeast strain, initial brix, cold soaking, fermentation temperature, maceration enzymes, duration of ferment, and extended maceration are among the many factors that affect the outcome of a wine. One batch of Cabernet Sauvignon may be ready to drink within 6 months, while another batch from the same vineyard may need 2 years before the tannins soften. The former may be in decline within a few years while the other may be good for 10 years.

No offense intended, but 99% of what you think you've learned about winemaking is wrong. YouTube is among the worst places to get information, because anyone with a web cam can make a video without having a clue. I'm not surprised that watching videos has left you confused.

In my sig is the link for the MoreWine! manuals. Download the red and white grape manuals, and skim them. Do not try to read them intently, skim them a few times. There's too much information to take in all at once, so re-read them to get more understanding each time.

DO NOT trust that I know what I'm talking about. Browse the Grape Wine and General forums, reading the threads that sound interesting. There are dozens of experienced winemakers on this forum that will provide guidance.

My best advice is to make a few kits. Learn the winemaking process by doing. By the time you have productive vines, winemaking will make sense. Also, 1 vine doesn't produce enough grapes to do much -- you need multiples of each type. Check the Grape Growing forum for information on growing grapes. There is far more to that than you expect.

Regarding vinegar -- DO NOT make vinegar in your winery. The end result will be contamination of all your wines.
 
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There's no such thing as aging times by variety.

The lifespan of any wine depends up on ABV, acid, tannin, residual sugar, and other factors. Climate, rainfall, average temperature during season, age of vines, yeast strain, initial brix, cold soaking, fermentation temperature, maceration enzymes, duration of ferment, and extended maceration are among the many factors that affect the outcome of a wine. One batch of Cabernet Sauvignon may be ready to drink within 6 months, while another batch from the same vineyard may need 2 years before the tannins soften. The former may be in decline within a few years while the other may be good for 10 years.

No offense intended, but 99% of what you think you've learned about winemaking is wrong. YouTube is among the worst places to get information, because anyone with a web cam can make a video without having a clue. I'm not surprised that watching videos has left you confused.

In my sig is the link for the MoreWine! manuals. Download the red and white grape manuals, and skim them. Do not try to read them intently, skim them a few times. There's too much information to take in all at once, so re-read them to get more understanding each time.

DO NOT trust that I know what I'm talking about. Browse the Grape Wine and General forums, reading the threads that sound interesting. There are dozens of experienced winemakers on this forum that will provide guidance.

My best advice is to make a few kits. Learn the winemaking process by doing. By the time you have productive vines, winemaking will make sense. Also, 1 vine doesn't produce enough grapes to do much -- you need multiples of each type. Check the Grape Growing forum for information on growing grapes. There is far more to that than you expect.

Regarding vinegar -- DO NOT make vinegar in your winery. The end result will be contamination of all your wines.
Thank You so much for this information. I was pretty sure that a lot of the information was incorrect. I will definitely do that. And I will purchase a few kits over the next month and start the process.
And, as far as not having enough to do much, this much I knew. The way I have my training systems set up, I have them with spaces to plant new vines. My intention is to root cuttings from the parent vines, and propagate new vines that way. Especially from my grafted varieties. I unfortunately couldn't afford to purchase more vines then I did. Yet. But, either way, it is a start. I intend on getting a piece of property in Pennsylvania by the end of the year. On which I will end up planting a minimum of 50 vines per variety to start, with room to plant more. But, before I do that, I would like to have a good idea of the winemaking process. Useless to have tons of vines if I don't know what I am doing. lol. So, that is a huge reason I joined this forum, specifically to learn from people who do this on a regular basis and are successful in it, so I can learn proper tecniques and process.
I will also print out the manuals you referred to. Thank you for that.
 

ChuckD

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Also, 1 vine doesn't produce enough grapes to do much -- you need multiples of each type.
Yep. I’ve found most hobby vineyard owners concentrate on three or four varieties. A vine At full production may be good for one gallon of wine… on a good year.

ETA. I see you are planning for that eventually. Before you go planting hundreds of vines I would follow Brian’s advice and make a few kits. Then move on to juice buckets. Then to purchased grapes. You need to look at this as a journey of several years, especially if you have ideas of producing wine commercially.
 
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Jovimaple

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Also keep in mind that you can make wine from other fruits, veggies, and even flowers. Freezing most of these items helps to break them down for easier juice extraction so you can make wine from them any time throughout the year and get more practice. Typically, these types of wines need more balancing with added acids and sugar, and even pectic enzyme, than grape wines. They can also give you experience in backsweetening. Good luck and have fun!
 
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Yep. I’ve found most hobby vineyard owners concentrate on three or four varieties. A vine At full production may be good for one gallon of wine… on a good year.

ETA. I see you are planning for that eventually. Before you go planting hundreds of vines I would follow Brian’s advice and make a few kits. Then move on to juice buckets. Then to purchased grapes. You need to look at this as a journey of several years, especially if you have ideas of producing wine commercially.
I intend on it. And to learn as much as I can on here as well.
Also keep in mind that you can make wine from other fruits, veggies, and even flowers. Freezing most of these items helps to break them down for easier juice extraction so you can make wine from them any time throughout the year and get more practice. Typically, these types of wines need more balancing with added acids and sugar, and even pectic enzyme, than grape wines. They can also give you experience in backsweetening. Good luck and have fun!
That's definitely something I'm going to want to be trying. Starting with the mulberries and raspberries. 😀
 

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* for small batches as twenty or thirty liters plastic is better than stainless. You will not find cost effective stainless till you get above 500 liters. When you look at equipment ask what the oxygen transmission rate is, ,, example HDPE mimics wood barrels where as PET is almost as tight as glass.
* I differ from Bryan, you will learn faster if you can find a winery which will let you help them so you can taste results and listen to the choices. Wine making is an art because there are too many variables to control from year to year. From for to row, from weather this week vs last, from how insulated your winery is day vs night, from YAN with bugs vs sprayed vines.
A traditional way to start wine making wine is to help your grandpa when the job gets too big for him, or an old geezer who could taste and offer observations. Is there anyplace near where wine is made?
Option three is to enroll in an on line / in person wine making course,,, Kits “fix” a lot of choices/ kits are not real world.
* today you mention one of and one of. I went at it with two plants of and two of. This is breading program mentality where you make a four liter batch. ? Can you find varietal juice in your area? ,,,, There is as much learning curve on farming grapes as on making wine.
* I agree with Bryan age or “shelf life” depends. There are so many tricks as do you add more metabisulphite because you want shelf life,,, or more acid because you want shelf life,,, or tannin to that mulberry because you want shelf life.

* it is interesting you mentioned mulberry since I am collecting/ may press some today. We have choices as do I make a fruity one which mimics eating fresh fruit (I blend 10% lemon) or do I load it up with grape tannin and make a “big red wine” or something else as mix with a Pinot juice bucket. Country wine making is expansive as follow natural foods rules vs. chemical bottle rules, country wines let’s one see how big the world of choices really is.

Good luck on your first batch.
 
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* for small batches as twenty or thirty liters plastic is better than stainless. You will not find cost effective stainless till you get above 500 liters. When you look at equipment ask what the oxygen transmission rate is, ,, example HDPE mimics wood barrels where as PET is almost as tight as glass.
* I differ from Bryan, you will learn faster if you can find a winery which will let you help them so you can taste results and listen to the choices. Wine making is an art because there are too many variables to control from year to year. From for to row, from weather this week vs last, from how insulated your winery is day vs night, from YAN with bugs vs sprayed vines.
A traditional way to start wine making wine is to help your grandpa when the job gets too big for him, or an old geezer who could taste and offer observations. Is there anyplace near where wine is made?
Option three is to enroll in an on line / in person wine making course,,, Kits “fix” a lot of choices/ kits are not real world.
* today you mention one of and one of. I went at it with two plants of and two of. This is breading program mentality where you make a four liter batch. ? Can you find varietal juice in your area? ,,,, There is as much learning curve on farming grapes as on making wine.
* I agree with Bryan age or “shelf life” depends. There are so many tricks as do you add more metabisulphite because you want shelf life,,, or more acid because you want shelf life,,, or tannin to that mulberry because you want shelf life.

* it is interesting you mentioned mulberry since I am collecting/ may press some today. We have choices as do I make a fruity one which mimics eating fresh fruit (I blend 10% lemon) or do I load it up with grape tannin and make a “big red wine” or something else as mix with a Pinot juice bucket. Country wine making is expansive as follow natural foods rules vs. chemical bottle rules, country wines let’s one see how big the world of choices really is.

Good luck on your first batch.
That is the batch of mulberries I pressed a few minutes ago. About 3 cups of juice and must. Now, I am curious if I should try to turn this into a mulberry wine to try my hand at the wine making, or if I should turn this into mulberry jam, which my family is asking me to make. Lol. I've made preserves from almost every fruit we grow except the mulberries. So, I might do that with this batch. Especially since the 3 cups would make a nice amount of preserve for pb&j. Lol

And as far as hands on, one of the local Vinyards has offered to have me come down and learn from them for free, which I thought was really nice. They make cabernet sauvingnon, merlot, pinot Grigio, and a few others. So that will be cool.
 

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winemaker81

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I differ from Bryan, you will learn faster if you can find a winery which will let you help them so you can taste results and listen to the choices.
Actually, I agree with you. The best way to learn winemaking is by directly working with an experienced winemaker. Since @Vacirca's Organics talked about videos and such, it appeared no experienced help was available.

That said, it's still a good idea to read the MoreWine! manuals. Once the process is understood, the beginner (and often time, the not-so-beginner) can focus on minutia and exceptions.

And as far as hands on, one of the local Vinyards has offered to have me come down and learn from them for free, which I thought was really nice. They make cabernet sauvingnon, merlot, pinot Grigio, and a few others. So that will be cool.
Excellent! Participating in both red and white winemaking will teach you a lot, especially the differences between the two. Fruit wine. making mostly resembles red winemaking, so it helps you there.

Regarding grafting -- it's common for a vine to be on a different rootstock that is resistant to local diseases and pests, e.g., the vine is Cabernet Sauvignon while the root is a Labrusca. Before you try cuttings, talk to local folks about what rootstock is best for your area.

Note -- I'm not a grape grower. While I know a fair amount on the subject, any practical experience I had is decades old, so I am not a good source for this. The Grape Grower's forum will be your best friend in this area.

You mentioned yeast in your first post -- THAT is a rabbit hole. There's a forum for that, and a lot of discussion spread through the other forums. Note that ANY wine yeast can be successfully used to make wine from any fruit. However, some strains are better for certain types of fruit (red vs white vs light fruit vs etc.), and it also depends on what characteristics you want to emphasize.

Buy a kit (I like Winexpert, R J Spagnols, Finer Wine Kits), read the instructions through 3 times to understand the process. Post questions in the Kit Wine forum before you start. Jump in!
 
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Actually, I agree with you. The best way to learn winemaking is by directly working with an experienced winemaker. Since @Vacirca's Organics talked about videos and such, it appeared no experienced help was available.

That said, it's still a good idea to read the MoreWine! manuals. Once the process is understood, the beginner (and often time, the not-so-beginner) can focus on minutia and exceptions.


Excellent! Participating in both red and white winemaking will teach you a lot, especially the differences between the two. Fruit wine. making mostly resembles red winemaking, so it helps you there.

Regarding grafting -- it's common for a vine to be on a different rootstock that is resistant to local diseases and pests, e.g., the vine is Cabernet Sauvignon while the root is a Labrusca. Before you try cuttings, talk to local folks about what rootstock is best for your area.

Note -- I'm not a grape grower. While I know a fair amount on the subject, any practical experience I had is decades old, so I am not a good source for this. The Grape Grower's forum will be your best friend in this area.

You mentioned yeast in your first post -- THAT is a rabbit hole. There's a forum for that, and a lot of discussion spread through the other forums. Note that ANY wine yeast can be successfully used to make wine from any fruit. However, some strains are better for certain types of fruit (red vs white vs light fruit vs etc.), and it also depends on what characteristics you want to emphasize.

Buy a kit (I like Winexpert, R J Spagnols, Finer Wine Kits), read the instructions through 3 times to understand the process. Post questions in the Kit Wine forum before you start. Jump in!
Thank you for that info. I printed out the red and white manuals, as well as the checklist. I've been reading those since yesterday. There's a lot of info there. Gotten through the first few pages, and I will keep on going with it. I know I'll have to read those manuals multiple times. And I'm perfectly OK with that.
But the hands on experience with the local vineyard is going to be an exciting process for me. Not only are they going to bring me through the entire process from start to finish, but, they are also going to work with me on the proper pruning techniques. Pruning seems like it would be a straight forward easy part of growing grapes. But it's not. Many different scenarios to look for, having to be able to project future growth, and knowing exactly what to look for is all something you can't get from videos. And up till this year, my only resource for these things was YouTube videos.
So it's going to be really nice to have that hands on experience.

My family decided they wanted me to make the jam with the mulberries. So I'm making a mulberry jam with a hint of lemon and a mulberry/ banana jam with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. So, this crop of mulberries aren't going to be used for wine. But my second tree has close to 24 pounds of berries on it that will mature over the next few weeks (approximating the weight based on previous years). So that is going to be used to make wine.

I am going to buy a few small 1 gallon kits, for red wine, white wine, and blueberry wine. (Found a blueberry wine kit which I thought was really cool and want to try since my blueberry plants are all very small and don't produce a lot yet. )
I'm also going to be looking into the process of making raspberry wine. I have Anne's good raspberry plants. 12 plants, all producing a nice amount. But they are 2 year plants. Next year they will be completely full. So, I should have a minimum of 20 to 30 pounds of berries to work with. So we'll see. Lol.

Definitely going to check out the yeast forum too. Because I know there are a lot of variables. So, I'll look into that.
 

winemaker81

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I printed out the red and white manuals, as well as the checklist. I've been reading those since yesterday. There's a lot of info there. Gotten through the first few pages, and I will keep on going with it. I know I'll have to read those manuals multiple times. And I'm perfectly OK with that.
Don't try to absorb everything in one read. Review the checklist a few times, then skim the manuals several times.

The problems with 1 gallon kits is small selection and that you only get 5 bottles from it. A 23 liter kit produces ~28 bottles of wine, and at this time, that may seem like a lot. Consider that if you open 1 bottle per week, that carboy is gone in 7 months. The lead time on most wines is 4 to 24 months, so you cannot replenish instantly.

Start thinking about your consumption rate, plus where you can get bottles from, and how much storage you have for both empty and full bottles. Hint -- accumulate enough bottles before you start a batch.
 

Shurt1073

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The problems with 1 gallon kits is small selection and that you only get 5 bottles from it. A 23 liter kit produces ~28 bottles of wine, and at this time, that may seem like a lot. Consider that if you open 1 bottle per week, that carboy is gone in 7 months. The lead time on most wines is 4 to 24 months, so you cannot replenish instantly.

Start thinking about your consumption rate, plus where you can get bottles from, and how much storage you have for both empty and full bottles. Hint -- accumulate enough bottles before you start a batch.

Amen! Great things to consider when wine making. I'm making wines now to bottle in 2024 and the waiting with bulk aging is sometimes brutal because you want it to hurry, then bottle and drink it! 😬
 

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