Winemaker from The Netherlands - Europe

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sjjan

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Hi there. I have just started up my amateur winery in the basement.

I did some home study and then bought about 1000 pounds of grapes from a local winery that produces the grapes but discontinued the winemaking part. We picked the grapes ourselves, which were of three different varieties typical for the northern part of Europe: Johanniter (white), Merzling (white) and Regent (red). Picking moments were decided based on Brix, pH and TA values (in Europe we use Oechsle instead of Brix, but the idea is the same), its general appearance and taste and the weather forecast for coming days.

I bought a destemmer and destemmed them grapes and after about a 12 hour contact period with the skins have started making some wine (fermentation started) in the wine cellar. So far, so good! I am able to ask questions to a commercial winemaker that lives just 3 miles from my home and he responds really within minutes or even drives up to my house to check the juice himself.

I tried to post some pictures of my first winemaking adventure but did not succeed. I tried to embed an image from my iPad taken with my iPhone but that was too large to upload seemingly. So, I have added the pictures to a video that shows you how a bit about my first time winemaking here in Europe. The video can be found on YouTube here.

We are based in an historical small city called Doesburg with roots going back to the Middle Ages. Our region is not a typical winegrowers region as we are situated in the northern part of Europe, so we depend on specific varieties that do well in this area.

Looking forward to hear from you all and to learn and contribute.

SJ
 

sour_grapes

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Welcome to WMT! That sounds like a very interesting start to your winemaking career!

I've never been near Doesburg -- closest I have come is probably Eindhoven or Utrecht.
 

stickman

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Very nice, it looks like you're not messing around!
 

sour_grapes

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Utrecht is less than an hour away. what brought you here?

Oh, those were for scientific conferences. Work has also brought me to Amsterdam more than a couple of times. The BEST times were when my wife's work brought her to Amsterdam, and I tagged along. All of the perquisites, none of the demands! :)
 

sjjan

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Very nice, it looks like you're not messing around!

Isn’t the proof in the pudding? And even though the setup might be nice, it is still a mess most of the time cleaning and sanitizing, doing something with the juice or wine, then cleaning again. Anyways: it is my first time making wine and I hope of course that something nice comes out of it or else I learn a lot in the process.
 

sjjan

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Oh, those were for scientific conferences. Work has also brought me to Amsterdam more than a couple of times. The BEST times were when my wife's work brought her to Amsterdam, and I tagged along. All of the perquisites, none of the demands! :)
Sounds like you had a great time abroad. I just visited the US last January after not having been there for many years. It was just a short visit to California where I rented a Cessna 182 and flew from Palo Alto to the north of California to a place called Lake California near Reading. I flew over Napa and wished I had more time to visit it. One thing I did was do a wine tasting at the hotel in Palo Alto and I was positively surprised by the good quality of wine presented (all from California).
 

dswatson

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Cool. The closest I have been no Nova Scotia is Quebec. What kind of grape varieties are you growing there in the east?


We are growing the following:

White Grapes: L'Acadie Blanc, Louise Swenson, Frontenac Blanc, Osceola Muscat, New York Muscat

Red Grapes: Petite Pearl, Marquette, Léon Millot, Castel, Triomphe d'Alsace, Lucie Kuhlmann
 

sjjan

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We are growing the following:

White Grapes: L'Acadie Blanc, Louise Swenson, Frontenac Blanc, Osceola Muscat, New York Muscat

Red Grapes: Petite Pearl, Marquette, Léon Millot, Castel, Triomphe d'Alsace, Lucie Kuhlmann
The Triomphe d'Alsace is seemingly coming from the Elzas region (which I love as a region and it is not too far from here, maybe 2-3 hours drive) and even though it is mentioned that it is planted in the UK and Netherlands, I had not heard from it. I will ask around with some wine farmers if any of them are familiar with these varieties. Thanks for sharing.
 

sour_grapes

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The Triomphe d'Alsace is seemingly coming from the Elzas region (which I love as a region and it is not too far from here, maybe 2-3 hours drive) and even though it is mentioned that it is planted in the UK and Netherlands, I had not heard from it. I will ask around with some wine farmers if any of them are familiar with these varieties. Thanks for sharing.

I am guessing that Elzas is Dutch for "Alsace"?

Fun fact: I am 1/4 Alsatian!
 

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