In Europe, wine was once named after the region where it was produced. Now most wines are named after the type of winemaking grape used to make the wine.
Many areas of the US grow grapes for making wine but the wine production in California accounts for about 80 to90 percent of the total wine produced in the US.
There are many categories of winemaking grapes grow and these include
* Vitis Vinifera – European type, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling
* French-American Hybrids – Baco Noir, Chambourcin, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Villard Noir
* Vitis Labrusca – American-type grapes, such as Catawba, Concord, Delaware, Niagara
* Vitis Rotundifolia – native to North Carolina, such as Carlos, Magnolia, Scuppernog
The wine produced is given the name of the winemaking grape so we have Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Part of the art of winemaking is to blend various wines such as Semillon Chardonnay.
Many people who enjoy home winemaking are able to grow their own grapes or they are able to buy winemaking grapes. Often they will use other fruits like strawberries, blackberries, peaches and plums and these can make very nice wines. The way wine is produced by the commercial wineries is the same process that can be used by the home winemaker.
If you are using your own fruit to make your homemade wine and not a winemaking kit, you will need a recipe. For different fruits find a recipe for a fruit that closely resembles the one you have and follow that. For all the berries, you could follow a berry recipe, if yo happened to be using vegetables then go for similar type veg recipes.
You could find that fruit wines take longer for the secondary fermentation. Be patient, you will not hear the same noises, as this stage will be very quiet. Test the wine every month or so make sure you take care with the sanitation and keep topping up the wine. This secondary fermentation could take three months to a year. So patience is called for.
White grapes need to go through a wine press. A wine press separates the juice from the skins, white wines are fermented from skinless grapes whereas red wine is fermented from the juice and skins.
10 Home WineMaking Mistakes
1. Inadequate Equipment
2. Cleaning and Sanitation
3. Failure to follow instructions
4. Bad Water
5. Poor Yeast Handling
6. Poor Temperature Control
7. Adding Sulfite and Sorbate at the wrong time
8. Leaving out the Sulfite
9. Not stirring
10. Not Waiting
Follow the bottling instructions very carefully, this is the last step in the winemaking process. The shelf life of your wine will depend on how you handle this step. If you can get the standard wine bottle, the neck opening should be 18.5 mm in diameter and this will take a standard size cork.
When you are filling the wine bottles, the wine should be 1 inch away from the cork, so if your cork is 1 1/2 inches, then your wine should be 2 1/2 inches from the top of the bottle neck. It is important, as you do not want to leave too much airspace in the bottles but enough under the cork for the compressed air to sit.
If you are going to get your own fruit be it winemaking grapes or some other fruits, then you want to produce a nice wine that you will enjoy drinking. That is what the process is all about, enjoying your own wine.