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Books,Education,Wine,Wine Ed,Wine Education,Winemaking

Home Winemaking ~ Yes You Can

Making your own wine is done by a lot of home winemakers. And, if you’ve ever thought about making your own wine, right in the comfort of your homestead, there’s a great new book on the market. Written by Lori Stahl, and published by Fox Chapel Publishing, Making Your Own Wine at Home is a no nonsense book that’s a practical, how-to beginners’ guide. Lori gives us creative recipes for making grape, fruit, and herb wines. From Fox Chapel’s Website…

It’s easier than you think to make wonderful wine at home. Get started today with this practical guide to making your first bottle of perfect homemade wine. Author Lori Stahl demystifies essential winemaking techniques with friendly, jargon-free instructions and gorgeous color photography. She begins by taking you step by step through making wine from a kit, and then shows you how to go beyond the kit with creative additions. Soon you’ll be making your own flavorful wine from fresh grapes, apples, berries, and even flowers and herbs. This home winemaking companion offers a wide selection of seasonal winemaking recipes, new twists on traditional favorites, and sweet ways to enjoy and indulge in the wines you create. Even if you have never made wine before, Making Your Own Wine at Home will show you everything you need to master an intriguing and rewarding new hobby – See more

I’m not kidding about homestead, either. I know someone who’s made wine in a small studio apartment, using a few carboys. Just make sure you have plenty of ventilation, seriously. Carbon dioxide is lethal.

Lori spent two cultivations with Jim and Sandy Whitmyer at their Coopers Hill Farm, based in Lititz, Pennsylvania. This is where she gathered her insights and learned all of the nuances of their wine supply business. This was great background for then going on to write about what she had learned… Images in the book are great, by the way. And, she’s written the book to give others the freedom and confidence to play with winemaking, in a step-by-step easy to understand program. If you’ve been toying with making your own wine, just do it with the help of this book. I don’t think it could be more simple, inspiring, and all-encompassing for anything else I haven’t mentioned, with this new companion guide.

Lori lists how to make the following Vitis vinifera, with the Concord grape being only exception to Vitis vinifera:

  • Zinfandel
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Vidal Blanc
  • Riesling
  • Concord (Vitis labrusca, not Vitis vinifera, like the others above)

If you’re on the East Coast, there are markets where you can purchase grapes grown in California and delivered to you. Our Wooden Valley Winery client from Suisun Valley (another client) has been shipping grapes to the East Coast for years, and has been very successful. There are many home winemakers who bow to the altar of Wooden Valley, and I understand why. These are amazing grapes being shipped off to help those who don’t live out here to actualize their dreams.

Okay, herb wine is a new concept to me, but I do smell a great holistic brew happening here. We’re in the month of October, right? Could be the season of the…

SIDEBAR: My great grandfather John Clarke, who immigrated from Scotland in the 1670s, was in Salem during the witch trials. There’s no mention of his name in any of the history books on Salem’s trials. If I had been born during that time, I would have altered that part of history, as being one more of the women who were free spirits and tinkered with herbs, as I do today. If I had had this book’s knowledge back then, I would have been burned at the stake for making herb wine… Oh, yeah.

A bit ahead of the times, the first time I wrote about the above sidebar was October 14, 2014…

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