Wine Making -- 2006

01 June 2007

The 2006 wine is bottled and I'm posting my labels with the wine. For 2006 I've decided to go with a single label design and vary as necessary for each wine. I'm also bottling a half a dozen of each batch with a joke label. Following is a sample of the joke label, and labels for each wine are with the log.

Why poke fun at myself? Better question is "why not?"! Too many people take wine too seriously! It's nice to break up the status quo. Besides, watching the look on unsuspecting people's faces when they read the label is fun!

18 April 2006

Things are wrapping up on my basement (the 3 year project!) so I went ahead and purchased a couple of wine kits. My goal for next week is to get the counter installed and plumbed in the basement. If that goes as planned (or even if it doesn't!) I'm going to start the kits next weekend!

07 October 2006

The utility sink was plumbed over 6 weeks ago -- "things" finally relaxed enough so I could make wine. So I started my two kits (purchased in May) and bought another kit today. The Fazekas Winery is back in action!

Note: The wines are listed in the order in which the batches were started. However, periodic work on them wasn't necessarily done in that same order, so some comments in the "Winemaking Actions" sections may not make sense if read in the order presented. I have considered creating a chronological log for each year's winemaking actions, but not sure that would make things uglier than they already are.


Wines Made in 2006

Wine

Started

Bottled

Yield

Pinot Noir Kit

O6 Oct 2006

23 May 2007

26

Nebbiolo D'Alba Kit

O6 Oct 2006

28 April 2008

24

Fume Blanc Kit

01 Nov 2006

18 May 2007

25

Chenin Blanc Kit

01 Nov 2006

18 May 2007

24

Total Made:

 

 

99 bottles


Pinot Noir Kit

My experiences with kits indicates that I should follow the instructions. So I actually read the instructions through before starting, and plan to stick with them.

Ingredients:

Kit

Vino del Vida Wine Kit -- Pinot Noir

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Read the instructions completely before starting, a new personal achievement! :-)

Put 1 gallon warm water in primary -- stirred in bentonite. Added concentrate, then rinsed bag with hot water and added to fermenter. Topped with cool water to 5-1/2 gallons. Instructions said top to 6 gallons, but I want a slightly richer wine -- plus I want it to fit in a 5 gallon carboy. So much for following the instructions exactly :-)

SG was 1.065 -- added 3 cups confectioner's sugar, which brought the SG up. According to instructions the SG should have been between 1.074 and 1.090. I may contact the vendor about this.

Added oak dust and yeast. Covered fermenter loosely with plastic wrap. I'm supposed to check at the 6 to 10 day mark for SG of 1.010 or less.

O6 Oct 2006

1.092

No activity 2 days later. Jump started it with an activated package of Lalvin-118.

O8 Oct 2006

1.092

First racking -- put in carboy with 750 ml top up in clean bottle.

15 Oct 2006

1.002

Second racking. Added sulfite & sorbate, used drill mounted stirring rod to mix the wine. Drove off a LOT of CO2. Added isinglass and stirred again. Drove off more gas. Airlock perked for a minute or so, guaranteeing a CO2 cushion.

Note: I started the Fume Blanc and Chenin Blanc today, using the stirring rod to mix the must. SG on both came out fine. I'm wondering if the low SG on this one was due to improper mixing. If so this one is going to be hot!

01 Nov 2006

0.994

Racked

19 Mar 2007

0.994

Added 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite. Bottled

23 May 2007

0.994

Final Notes

Yield

26 bottles

23 May 2007

Not a bad flavor at bottling. I think it will develop a bit with age. The topup bottle has been sitting on some lees since November 2006. Gave it a bit of an earthy flavor, but overall not bad. Poured the last of it through a coffee filter and am drinking it as I type ...

28 Apr 2008

This one has continued to be a nice, drinkable wine. Nothing special, just decent.


Nebbiolo D'Alba Kit

This one has very specific instructions for how to make the wine clear properly. I will need to read the instructions through again before each step.

Ingredients

Kit

Winexpert Selection Speciale Series Wine Kit -- Nebbiolo D'Alba

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Put 2 quarts water in primary -- stirred in bentonite. Added concentrate, then rised bag with warm water and added to fermenter. Topped with cool water to 5-1/2 gallons. As with the Pinot Noir, this one called for 6 gallons but I topped to 5-1/2. Just as well - the SG hit right where I wanted it.

Put 1 gallon warm water in primary -- stirred in bentonite. Added concentrate, then rinsed bag with hot water and added to fermenter. Topped with cool water to 5-1/2 gallons. Instructions said top to 6 gallons, but I want a slightly richer wine -- plus I want it to fit in a 5 gallon carboy. So much for following the instructions exactly :-)

Added oak chips and yeast. Covered fermenter loosely with plastic wrap. I'm supposed to check after 5 to 7 days for SG of 1.010 or less.

O6 Oct 2006

1.092

No activity 2 days later. Jump started it with an activated package of Lalvin-118.

O8 Oct 2006

1.092

First racking -- put in carboy with 750 ml top up in clean bottle.

15 Oct 2006

1.002

Checked the SG after 2-1/2 weeks -- the chart says it must be 0.992 and 0.996. It's at 0.998 ... so I decided to plow ahead. The SG only dropped 0.004 in 2-1/2 weeks, it's unlikely to drop more. Besides -- it's below 1.000 which is the general cutoff.

Added metabisulfite and sorbate packs to carboy -- used a drill-mounted stirring rod to mix it and drive out the gas. This produced a LOT more gas than I expected. Interesting thing is that the instructions specifically state to NOT rack the wine -- the sediment must be mixed back in for proper clearing. Huh.

Added the chitosan and stirred it more. Put the airlock back on -- it perked along vigorously for a minute or so, then slowed and eventually stopped. Looks like I have a good CO2 cushion.

01 Nov 2006

0.998

Racked. Lots of sediment, far more than I expected. Going to let this one set another month or so to make sure it's clear.

19 Mar 2007

0.998

Racked. Was going to bottle but accidentally stirred up a bit of sediment. Will wait another 2 weeks. Added 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite.

03 Jun 2007

0.998

That two weeks lasted a bit longer than anticipated. I kept putting it off and putting it off ... but finally got off my duff and bottled it tonight.

28 Apr 2008

0.998

Final Notes

Yield

24 bottles

28 Apr 2008

It's got nice legs, but it's got a bit of an odd flavor -- I let it set on the lees and oak too long originally. But it will make an ok dinner wine.


Fume Blanc Kit

American Brewmaster discounted some of last year's kits 15% -- So I had to buy one! If this one is ok I'm going to go back Thursday -- if either of the remaining discounted white wine kits are available I'll buy another!

Ingredients

Kit

Vino del Vida Wine Kit -- Fume Blanc

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Followed directions: Put 1 gallon warm water in primary; added bentonite and used drill mounted stirring rod to carefully mix it in.

Added juice concentrate and rinsed bag with hot water. Filled primary to 5-1/2 gallons (instead of the 6 the directions call for).

I used the stirring rod to mix the must; the SG came out fine. I'm wondering if the low SG on the pinot noir resulted from improper mixing of the must. If so it's going to come out hot.

Stirred in the oak dust and sprinkled the yeast on top. Yeast is Spagnols generic. No clue what it is.

01 Nov 2006

1.084

Racked the wine and moved to a carboy.

15 Nov 2006

1.000

Racked the wine. Added package #2A (sulphite) & package #2B (potassium sorbate), stirring vigorously after each.

Added package #3 (liquid isinglass) and stirred vigorously. Instructions called for 5 minute stir, wait 15 minutes, stir again for 5 minutes. According to stirring rod directions I didn't need to stir that much. Did about 30-45 seconds for each -- LOT of gas emitted!

11 Dec 2006

0.998

Racked the wine. This one is darker than I expected, significantly darker than the Chenin Blanc. Smells clean, no oxidation detected. I'm wondering if this is due to the oak powder or because the kit is a year old.

19 Mar 2007

0.998

Bottled.

Note: The sink in the wine area has been a pain. Had great difficulties in seating the traps so they didn't leak. Got that fixed this week so I'm bottling wine!

18 May 2007

0.998

Final Notes

Yield

25 bottles

18 May 2007

At bottling time this wine is too oaky for my taste. The oak overshadows the Sauvignon Blanc taste. We'll see how it does in the bottle after a month or two.

03 Jun 2007

I was going to wait another month but decided to open that 25th bottle with dinner tonight. Still is a bit too oaky, not a bad flavor overall, but the oak is out of balance. This one may need 6 to 12 months to level out.

28 Apr 2008

Ten months later the oak is still a bit stronger than I like. Next time I do a white with oak I'm going to pay strick attention to how long I let it set on the oak. Chips and powder can flavor a wine fast!


Chenin Blanc Kit

Instead of starting the Fume Blanc and seeing how it went, I said "the heck with it!" and bought this one as well, starting them at the same time.

Ingredients

Kit

Vino del Vida Wine Kit -- Chenin Blanc

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Followed directions: Put 1 gallon warm water in primary; added bentonite and used drill mounted stirring rod to carefully mix it in. This worked far better than a spoon!

Added juice concentrate and rinsed bag with hot water. Filled primary to 5-1/2 gallons (instead of the 6 the directions call for).

Used the stirring rod to mix the must. Sprinkled the yeast on top. Yeast is Spagnols generic. No clue what it is.

01 Nov 2006

1.096

Racked the wine and moved to a carboy.

15 Nov 2006

1.000

Racked the wine. Added package #2A (sulphite) & package #2B (potassium sorbate), stirring vigorously after each. Gotta love that stirring tool!

Added package #3 (liquid isinglass) and stirred vigorously. Instructions called for 5 minute stir, wait 15 minutes, stir again for 5 minutes. According to stirring rod directions I didn't need to stir that much. Did about 30-45 seconds for each -- LOT of gas emitted!

11 Dec 2006

0.998

Racked the wine. There was more sediment than I expected.

Note: I've been following the directions for the kit with no improvisation, but haven't been using their time frames. If I had done that the wine would have been bottled at the end of November ... I'm a bit behind that! <G>

19 Mar 2007

0.998

Bottled.

Note: The sink in the wine area has been a pain. Had great difficulties in seating the traps so they didn't leak. Got that fixed this week so I'm bottling wine!

18 May 2007

0.998

Final Notes

Yield

24 bottles

18 May 2007

At bottling the wine has a mild flavor. Not as acidic as I might want -- when I think of Chenin Blanc I think of Vouvray, crystal clear white wines with an "appropriate" bite that go great with fish and seafood. This one isn't there, but I'll check again after a few months in the bottle.

28 Apr 2008

This one has turned out to be a nice sipping wine.