Glass of wine surrounded by grapes and logs

Great Quality Homegrown Wines

For years, wine has been known to be a great drink for socializing, or just relaxing quietly at home. Now, studies have emerged showing that wine also has great health benefits. But good wines can be costly. However, you can make a great homemade wine for a fraction of what it would cost you to buy wine at a store. Find out how you can make a quality wine in your own home.

According to health and gardening writer Jeff Cox, the quality of the wine is determined by the grapevines, not the winemaker. Better grapes will make a better wine. A growing site is best with access to full sunlight, good drainage and nutrient poor soil. You can pick grapes at the peak of perfection, when it is not only ripe, but mature. Then the grapes should be brought to the winery (which may be your garage or basement) to begin the winemaking process.

The next step would be primary fermentation. Grapes are crushed to yield juice, pulp and skins. Next, you can stir in honey, which provides food for the yeast and sweetens the wine. Finally, add wine yeast, which can be bought in a store. Cover loosely with plastic. This process will allow the yeast to convert natural sugars to alcohol and will take about 10 days. A perfect temperature for primary fermentation is between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Secondary fermentation comes next. During this process, you will be ‘racking’ or siphoning the wine from one container to the other, leaving the sediment that has settled to the bottom of the container behind. It’s best to store the wine in a glass container with an airlock. This will create a barrier from the environment to prevent airborne contaminants from spoiling your wine.

After 6 to 8 weeks it is time for the second racking. This is necessary to remove more sediment and it rids your wine of excessive carbon dioxide resulting from fermentation. Wait another 6 to 8 weeks before the next racking.
For the third racking, add one campden tablet per gallon of wine. This tablet is an antioxidant that also inhibits bacteria. It will make your wine taste good and prevent browning. You must wait another 4 to 6 months before the fourth racking also known as filtering.

Filtering is not necessary, but it will clear the wine and prevent sediment at the bottom. It can be done by a filtering machine and it will give your wine some sparkle. Once this is done, wait two more weeks to allow any traces of sediment to settle.

resveralife-great-quality-homegrown-wines-bottles

Bottling is your last step. For best results, use green wine glass bottles with cork seals that don’t have rough edges or nicks. Siphon the wine into bottles and leave room for the cork and air space of one inch between the cork and wine. Then leave wine bottles standing upright for 24 hours. Then turn bottles on their sides for long term storage. Age your bottle another 6 months to a year for a great homemade quality wine.

Do you make your wine at home? Are there any tips that you would like to add? Let us know in the comments section below.

Grapes in a vineyard

Organically Grown Grapes and Wine

Organic is one of the major buzzwords right now in all areas of life from products you use in your bathroom right down to your kitchen table. However, the title of organic can be confusing at times, and as a consumer, you want to know what you’re paying for. Although organic wine is not a hugely popular item in the United States, there are many winegrowers that are dedicated to producing organically grown grapes on sustainable vineyards. It would be a natural assumption that organically grown grapes produce organic wine, and if you think this you are right – to an extent. Read below to find out what organically grown grapes are and what types of wine these grapes can produce.

What are Organically Grown Grapes?
Like any other food item, in order for grapes to be labeled as organic, they must be grown in accordance with the principles of organic farming. In conventional wine growing, chemical fertilizers are used to protect the vines and to promote larger yields. The chemicals that are sprayed onto the fruits are also absorbed by the soil and they make their way into the leaves and the grapes being grown, meaning that these chemicals ultimately make it into the wine. Those who support organically grown grapes say that not only do these chemicals destroy the soil and surrounding land, but they also remove some of the very unique and distinct flavors that accompany grapes.

Growing grapes organically provides a unique set of challenges to winemakers. For these growers to be the most successful, they must choose the correct type of wine for the growing environment and region. One of the major concerns in growing organic grapes is the presence of mildew and rot pressures, because grapes affected by these factors will not be able to be used in the production of wine.

What is Organic Wine?
In the most basic definition, organic wine is any wine that is produced using organically grown grapes. However, there are some various legal definitions that can be quite confusing to many consumers. Currently, the only effective preservatives that allow wines to last for substantial periods of time are “non-organic.” This means that a wine can be made from organically grown grapes, but still not be considered an organic wine. The difference between organic and non-organic wines lies in the use of sulfites. Many winemakers use sulfites in very small quantities to preserve the wine and to give it a longer shelf life, but a true organic wine in the United States may not contain any added sulfites. If a wine has added sulfites, but is produced using grapes that have been grown organically, then the label may read “wine made from organic grapes.”

Growing grapes organically requires extreme patience, commitment and dedication, and many winemakers are taking up this challenge. Pick up a bottle of organic wine, or wine made from organic grapes and see how you like the taste of grapes produced responsibly and wine made without sulfites.