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Discussion Starter #1
That time of year again and the grapes seem very, very good. By the volume of mash, looks like we should produce about 220 gallons.

Anyone else out there "practicing Italians"
:D
 

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My dad (he lives in northern california) was trying to do this for a few years, put in several rows of vines in part of his yard. However, the vines kept getting hit by various blights. Bugs and beetles and other things. So after several years, I think he's just sticking to fruit trees.

What kind of grapes do you grow?
 

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We live in Philly, no room for much more than a decorative pergola.
We buy are grapes in "South Philly".
The pergola is Thompson Seedless and usally yields five gallons of dessert wine.
We buy Zinfandel that we blend with some Muscat for muscle. We also like Sauvignon blanc blended with some Cabernet Sauvignon for color.
I like drinking it but I also enjoy having family over to help out, it's a tradition I hope my children will continue.
 

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I haven't made wine with my dad since 2003 - sadly he passed in '05:( However, I do plan on making some in the future. I'm down a paltry 50 gallons to go until i need a refill:)

I plan on Barbera, Zinfandel, Muscat and maybe a white in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I haven't made wine with my dad since 2003 - sadly he passed in '05:( However, I do plan on making some in the future. I'm down a paltry 50 gallons to go until i need a refill:)

I plan on Barbera, Zinfandel, Muscat and maybe a white in the future.
If its the last batch you made with your father it might be a nice idea to bottle some of it with a label (maybe even include a nice picture of him on the label) and store it away. Be sure to store it on its side if your using cork.

What type is it and is it aging well?
 

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Yes, it's the last batch with my dad and yes I plan on keeping some. However, I'm a bit worried how it's aging due to the fact I don't have ideal conditions (cool and dark cellar). I had to take all the wine to my place when my dad died and my mom sold their house. When I plan on making wine again I'm going to try just a small batch and see what comes of it.

It's mostly Barbera and Zinfandel grapes. I drink one glass a night with dinner and that seems to keep me in good health - particularly in the winter months:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I drink one glass a night with dinner and that seems to keep me in good health - particularly in the winter months:)
And two or more glasses will improve your health.;)

That mix should age just fine but the most important factor is temperature, do not let it change quickly. Below grade basements generally are pretty good because thier temps change slowly. If you don't have a good basement pick up a frig. Basic units are best since there's less to go wrong.

Break out a bottle on his birthday and say thanks.
 

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Cheating

Its been 15 years since I made my last batch of wine, I used to mix zin, with muscat to. Thats how my father used to make it. Now that my boys are older they want me to start again. I still have all the equipment the press, grinder and barrels. I remember how my wife use to complain about all the fruit flies around. Anyways I am going to cheat this year, there is a store called Corrados located in Clifton NJ, where you can buy the grapes and they will grind them for you and package them in 5 gallon plastic bags. You simply go home, empty the bag in a barrel or I use 10 gallon glass bottle, add what ever ingredients you wish and let nature take its course.

No fruit fies:p
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Tony,
Truth is making wine is very labor intensive and if not for the relatives who stop by to give a hand would probably be too much for me.
It’s been quite a few years since I’ve used wood barrels to ferment. Seems like all the barrels available now are used whiskey barrels which I think impart a nasty taste, I use glass exclusively.
When you do start up again consider chucking the 15 year old barrels. If they were clean oak barrels when bought they have lost their ability to impart any sort of oak flavor by now. If they were used whiskey barrels you run the risk of losing your wine. I have friends who open their oak barrels every year and scrape and rechar them. I don't think it’s worth the effort.

Curious to know what you mean by adding ingrediants to the wine?

Hope it turns out well. How long do you wait before you start drinking it.
 

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Great day in upstate NY

Aldo


I usually wait until Christmas, if the wine was made in early October. I too use 10 gallon glass jars, then after fermenation process filter the wine again into glass containers.

Yesterday, I visited a friend who two years ago purchased a winery in Marlboro, NY called Benmarl Winery.

My wife and I took some of our friends there and Victor the owner gave us and in depth tour . It was so interesting, I did not realize that the new oak barrels are costing about $800.00 each and they have a life span of 4 years. Some of the larher wineries in Calif. ie Opus 1 use barrels only 1 year.

It was a great day weather and wine were superb.

A s far as ingredients, personally I do not add sugar, yeast, sulfur to my own home made brew, some of my friends do however. They will test the wine for sugar content during the fermentation process and add accordingly to achieve the required alcohol content.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Tony,

Nice, the best kind of friends,,,,,the ones with good wine.

My grandfather was big critic of everyone else’s homemade wine. He would always be very polite when tasting but afterward in private if he sensed anyone actually liked it he would retaliate by saying something bad, his favorite slur was to announce that their wine was “Fatto con la bastone” which was his way of delivering the ultimate insult. He meant that they had added chemicals or something and were somehow “cheating”.

Aldo
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Yep,
I miss my nonno, even though he got pretty abrasive and crusty at the end of his life. Dad said he was never the same after his favorite donkey (Serena) died. :)
 
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