Crafting Wine in the Midwest, Part 2


| 1/26/2015 10:03:00 AM


Tags: wine making, Julie E. Smith, Illinois,

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There is something to be said about the satisfaction of doing something yourself-and that also holds true with making wine. No matter where you live, how much or how little wine you intend on making, or what type of wine you choose to make-there are several steps that need to be followed if you wish to make a “drinkable”, enjoyable wine. The actual process of making the wine takes place over several months time, but these are the basic steps that must be followed.

1. Purchase, or grow, the grapes that will be used. In the Midwest, Michigan is the state most conducive to successfully growing grapes. However, if you live an area that is not so great for grape growing, then there are numerous companies that you can purchase grapes from. Generally, they are shipped in from California. Making the determination what type of grapes to grow, or if they will grow in your own backyard, is quite a task itself. Any questions about your local soil and suitability could probably best be answered by a Horticulture hotline, of sorts. For example, in Illinois, we can call the University of Illinois Extension Service, “Master Gardener” Program. Programs such as this can usually be found through the horticulture department of your local college or state university.

2. Grapes must be brought to room temperature.

3. Clean and sanitize all equipment.

4. Leaving stems on (for addition of Tannic-natural preservative), put grapes into barrel for fermentation. Sometimes grapes will be de-stemmed depending on the type of grape, ripeness and wine style.




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