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Old 01-14-2015, 10:37 PM   #1
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Any wine makers here?

Curious if any members are wine makers?

I was taught to make wine a few years back by an Italian friend of mine. Have been making some very nice wines since. First batch was from Mars grapes with a few Sunbelt grapes added to make a nice blush. Then, 15 gallons of Sunbelt, 5 gallons of Fredonia, and 5 gallons of Concord. Currently have 15 gallons of Concord fermenting. (No, we are not lushes..... friends get "blessed" with the proceeds of this hobby!!)
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:36 AM   #2
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No make....just drink.


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Old 01-15-2015, 08:35 AM   #3
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I was into some serious winemaking for about 5 years. I was living in NC at the time and belonged to an informal co-op of about 20 guys & gals who made wine from whole grapes. Every fall we'd order a refrigerated tractor-trailer load of grapes from CA. They'd be picked on Monday and delivered to us on Friday or Saturday. I'd usually order 500 lbs. of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I've since moved to Maine where I still have about 250 bottles aging in my cellar. I won a silver metal in the 2014 Cellarmasters of Los Angeles Home Winemaking Competition. It's pretty good if I do say so myself. I'd put it up against the $75-100 commercial c. s.'s I've tasted.

However, life moves on and I'm now into Airstreaming and spending winters in FL so I just don't have time for it anymore. Anyone want to buy some wine barrels and testing equipment?
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:54 AM   #4
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No wine...just beer

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Old 01-15-2015, 11:48 AM   #5
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I was into some serious winemaking for about 5 years. I was living in NC at the time and belonged to an informal co-op of about 20 guys & gals who made wine from whole grapes. Every fall we'd order a refrigerated tractor-trailer load of grapes from CA. They'd be picked on Monday and delivered to us on Friday or Saturday. I'd usually order 500 lbs. of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I've since moved to Maine where I still have about 250 bottles aging in my cellar. I won a silver metal in the 2014 Cellarmasters of Los Angeles Home Winemaking Competition. It's pretty good if I do say so myself. I'd put it up against the $75-100 commercial c. s.'s I've tasted.

However, life moves on and I'm now into Airstreaming and spending winters in FL so I just don't have time for it anymore. Anyone want to buy some wine barrels and testing equipment?
If I lived closer, I'm sure I take some or all of what you want to sell. Cab is my favorite wine. Sounds like you have an outstanding one! Luckily, I can get my grapes locally from the same guy who taught me to make wine. The first two seasons, he GAVE me the grapes! Last fall, I paid him for enough grapes to make a 15-gallon batch.... can't remember the weight, but it was 12 or 13 1/2-bushel containers. Gets better every year!

We also help at a local winery when they are processing their grapes or bottling. We really enjoy it. http://www.tontitownwinery.com/
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:27 PM   #6
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I've made three different styles so far. They all turned out nicely. I made beer previously, but my wife didn't care for the house smelling like a brewery. I can make the wine without her noticing
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:50 PM   #7
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Is not 15 gallons a large batch for a home brewer? Not a lot of 15 gal fermentation vessels out there at a reasonable price. What did you do to get started?


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Old 01-15-2015, 07:56 PM   #8
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I have made some wine at home, but not recently. I like to use the local/native grapes of NC. My favorite is the muscadine grape which makes a deep dark red very sweet wine. I also like the scuppernong grape which makes a white very sweet wine. I have also used the catawba grape a few times which makes a nice blush, though a little dryer than the muscadine or scuppernong.
I had the catawba vines on my land where I lived earlier and many neighbors have vines in their backyards. The muscadine grows wild where I live, free for picking in late August through early Sept.
Since there are several local wineries that use these grapes, it's now so much easier to buy it rather than make my own.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:07 PM   #9
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Is not 15 gallons a large batch for a home brewer? Not a lot of 15 gal fermentation vessels out there at a reasonable price. What did you do to get started?


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Yes, 15 gallons is a large batch... makes 60 bottles or so. I knew that if it turned out well I'd be sharing it with friends, and it keeps for a long time, obviously. If it didn't turn out well, I've heard somewhere about grappa.... enough said.... look it up. I also had a FREE source of bottles from our friend's winery, so that wasn't a problem. Fortunately, the labels they used on their bottles was not a paper label, more like a thin, sticky plastic. So, it peeled off nicely if you didn't get in a rush. My 15-gallon fermenter is a used aluminium beer keg. I removed the valve from the center of the keg (simple.... just held in by a snap ring), cleaned it thoroughly, and sanitized it prior to filling it. Otherwise, I use 5 or 6-gallon glass jugs. Appropriately-sized plugs and air locks were used.

I can go in to all sorts of detail if you'd like...... I found out that wine making is as complicated as you want to make it. Doing it in what I call a simple way can produce some very nice wines. Along with our gardening (40'x150' garden, LOTS of stuff grown and canned. I like older garden tractors..... another interest), wine-making is a nice addition to our activities.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I have made some wine at home, but not recently. I like to use the local/native grapes of NC. My favorite is the muscadine grape which makes a deep dark red very sweet wine. I also like the scuppernong grape which makes a white very sweet wine. I have also used the catawba grape a few times which makes a nice blush, though a little dryer than the muscadine or scuppernong.
I had the catawba vines on my land where I lived earlier and many neighbors have vines in their backyards. The muscadine grows wild where I live, free for picking in late August through early Sept.
Since there are several local wineries that use these grapes, it's now so much easier to buy it rather than make my own.
Very nice.... I lean more towards dry, red wines, but I do LOVE red muscadine. Very popular around here, too. I like new stuff, so the scuppernong would interest me, fer shur!
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:14 PM   #11
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I've made three different styles so far. They all turned out nicely. I made beer previously, but my wife didn't care for the house smelling like a brewery. I can make the wine without her noticing
That reminds me..... my in-laws frown upon adult beverages, so we have to be respectful and NOT have the house smelling yeasty and grapey when they want to visit! I haven't delved into beer making although it does interest me. I just have too many other hobbies and time constraints to allow another one....... so much I'd like to do, so little time!

I'd like to get an in-ground tornado shelter.... not so much for a fraidy hole, but more for a wine and canned goods cellar!
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:40 PM   #12
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Bob
You have some nice wineries and vineyards in your neighborhood. The ones I'm familiar with are along Lake Erie in Chautauqua County. Johnson Estate and Noble wineries, in particular. My dad's side of the family is from the Sherman and Ripley area. I used to spend my summers on their dairy farms. Beautiful countryside in the summer. Same for winter, I guess, if you like snow.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:25 PM   #13
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We have been making our own wine for about 20 years now. Mostly from juice and not from the raw grapes.
Mostly reds such as Malbec, Zinfandel, Merlots, and Pinot Noirs.
I have a wine room off my garage and usually have about 30 to 40 gallons going at a time.
Because of our climate I start in the fall with bottling usually happening about 6 to 9 months later.
Before we started on this 4 month trip I made 30 gallons which are now sitting aging in 5 gallon carboys in a constant temp till we return.
Hmmm, getting thirsty.


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Old 01-15-2015, 11:16 PM   #14
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Beer. Yes... Wine..would LIKE to get my wife into doing that.... So I bought the equipment.... Just waiting now to see if interest takes hold.

If we start FT that will not work... But, we could leave the batches at our kids' homes and drop by to "visit" the Grandkritters and the batches!!!!
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