With the current passion for wine and recent advances in technology making it even easier to create your own home brew, many people are turning to wine making as a hobby. There are more and more articles and books on how to make wine coming out every month and this has made winemaking more accessible as a hobby.
There are a few basics to consider before you jump into winemaking but once you understand how to make wine, you can turn yourself to this delightful hobby.
What Grapes will you Use?
Or, for that matter, will you use grapes at all? Many gardeners make wines with different berries they find in the garden. If, however, you want to know how to make wine from grapes, you are going to have to source the grapes. Growing the vines yourself is rewarding but it requires the correct climatic conditions.
Grapes are quite hardy but do need a fair amount of sunlight and do not like having their toes kept wet. Grapes should thus be planted on a slope to allow water to drain off and should be planted to optimise sunshine. They are dormant in winter so you could get away with planting them in a winter rainfall area. If you are considering wine making as a hobby, choose two or three cultivars (depending on space) to start off with. Luckily, the vines do not need a lot of space.
The most difficult part when it comes to growing the grapes is deciding when to pick them. A good deal of the success of the wine depends on the levels of sugar in the grapes when picked.
How to Make Wine
he grapes are picked, pressed and then the liquid is then placed into vats. You add yeast and sugar (the amount of sugar depends on, (a) how sweet you want the wine to be and (b) how sweet the grapes were in the first place.) and leave it to mature.
The Container Influences the Flavour of the Wine
Wine takes on flavours during maturation so be careful what containers you store it in. Now is not the time to use that horrid old plastic bucket. The best, of course, is an oaken barrel but if you cannot get one of those, a glass container will do as well – make sure it is dark glass though. Be careful when stirring the wine as well as this can also affect the flavour.
The Last Ingredient?
The last step in how to make wine is to be patient. It will take a few months or longer to get the wine to a drinkable stage. You may also
find that your first batch is the worst plonk you have ever tasted so you also need to be patient in working out the kinks.