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  • First harvest

    I have always wanted to make wine from my own grapes. I have just filtered the wine from my first grapes. Because of the hot summer the wasps were decimating the grapes and so I had to harvest earlier than I wanted before they ate the lot. This resulted in lower sugar than I would have liked and higher acid. Both were adjusted and a very drinkable wine is the result. I limited each vine to three bunches as you are not supposed to over-crop when vines are young. Even so with 60 vines I still got 5 gallons. I know one mustnt count ones chickens but there should be double that next year and three times that the year after. I do have some possible problems though. First, where will I get enough bottles? Second, where will I store it all? Third, it is white and I drink mainly red. Who is going to drink it all? I suppose, because I cant sell it I will have to give it away and in the process make lots of friends!

    David

  • #2
    Sounds like you are doing really well!
    Can you ask friends, family and peeps at work to save bottles for you?

    I don't know the first thing about making wine from grapes, but might you consider making some fizzy dry wine another year?...always good for a celebration!

    Could you cheat a tad and add some red grape juice next time and so make some rose too?

    ...just a few thoughts....
    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

    Location....Normandy France

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    • #3
      Hi Nicos,
      I had an odd bit of space and have planted a couple of red vines. I also have plans for a pergola over my South-East facing patio and will grow some reds over that too. The problem with bottles is that a lot of wine is now in screw top bottles and while you can put corks in them they don’t look good. Sparkling wine is another ball game altogether. Having said that, English sparkling wine quality is now challenging French sparkle and especially in terms of price.
      David

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      • #4
        Congratulations on what sounds like a great first harvest and preservation

        Ask family and friends to keep their empty bottles for you. Do you know anyone who works in a pub that might keep the wine bottles?

        I'm sure you'll work out where to store it but if you have a garage you could build a storage unit in there or get a bunch of plastic boxes large enough to get several wine bottles in and stack them somewhere cool.

        Thirdly why plant out all white grapes if you only drink red? I know red grapes are used to make white wines (e.g. Champagne can be made with Pino Noir) by making sure the skins are separated from the juice as soon as possible. Although it's sort of traditional for reds to be at room temperature and whites to be chilled you don't have to follow this. Having a white at room temperature changes its flavour so you could try room temperature white to see how you like it. You could blend some of the white into the reds to combine their flavours, adding more might give a rose. You could try adding dried grape skins/grape skin extracts along with wine finishers to use the white to simulate a red or even ferment the white skins with the pulp to get a different bodied wine (although still a white or orange).

        You could fortify it with polish spirit, adding other flavourings, to make a fortified wine or liqueur

        New all singing all dancing blog - Jasons Jungle

        �I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb."
        ― Thomas A. Edison

        �Negative results are just what I want. They�re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don�t.�
        ― Thomas A. Edison

        - I must be a Nutter,VC says so -

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        • #5
          The French tend to keep their wine in barrels, you then take your own container and fill it up, could you not do something like that?

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          • #6
            I have a red grape vine - it makes pale pink wine. I’m not a lover of homemade wine so I’ve only had a few goes but I made a batch of sparkling wine by accident once and it was delicious.
            Everyone drinks prosecco these days which all come corked. I save mine for a friend who makes the fizzy stuff.

            As for the wasps...Perhaps you were just unlikely this year? I’ve got a huge vine and I’ve never been troubled by wasps.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by burnie View Post
              The French tend to keep their wine in barrels, you then take your own container and fill it up, could you not do something like that?
              Or ignore the container and get a reclining chair

              New all singing all dancing blog - Jasons Jungle

              �I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb."
              ― Thomas A. Edison

              �Negative results are just what I want. They�re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don�t.�
              ― Thomas A. Edison

              - I must be a Nutter,VC says so -

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              • #8
                Hi Jay-ell,
                I originally planted all white because all the information was that only thin reds could be made in the U.K. I recently sampled some red wine on the Isle of Wight and it was superb and full bodied. That’s when I planted the reds. I will drink white wine on occasion but I may grub up some of the whites and replace with reds in the future.
                David

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                • #9
                  Hi Bernie,
                  I do have five gallon plastic containers that I will use. The kit red I make doesn’t last long enough to bottle and is decanted directly from the bulk store.
                  David

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                  • #10
                    congrats on making your own wine mate its a dream of mine to be able to do this too ,i have 1 vine that is doing well ,no grapes this year as its only small and santa is bringing me a couple more this year too ,to answer your question
                    1 i have bottles
                    2 i have a shed i can put it in
                    3 i will drink it for you

                    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Home-Brew-W.../dp/B002ICY9YQ
                    theres plenty of places online to order bottles from
                    Last edited by the big lebowski; 12-10-2018, 12:59 PM.
                    The Dude abides.

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                    • #11
                      i make homebrew in 5 liter batches and it fills about 33 750 ml bottles so thats the amount of bottles you will need

                      if your keeping it at home you could always just leave it in a fermentation vessel and store it in that as long as its airtight it will be fine altho people say wine stored in glass tastes better than wine stored in plastic, just make sure you rack it so it doesnt have any sediment in the bottom ,this can spoil the taste of it ,good luck ,cheers
                      Last edited by the big lebowski; 12-10-2018, 01:18 PM.
                      The Dude abides.

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                      • #12
                        Hi Big,
                        I also make other wine, mainly 30L kits. The real issue with wine from your own grapes is the expanding quantity in the first few years. This year 3 bunches per vine. Next year 6. The year after and following up to 12. I got 4 gallons this year from the 50 vines I allowed to crop but in two years time from all 60 cropping it could be as high as 20 gallons. We went to supper with a friend who helped with the harvest and his wife. The acid test is that two bottles were consumed by the four of us.
                        I am also sorry but Bedfordshire is a bit far for a wine cellar. But is you are ever in my area........
                        David

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                        • #13
                          Damned autocorrect. I meant to say, If you are ever in my area......
                          David

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                          • #14
                            hi , ive always liked the idea of storing wine in a barrel https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wine-Barr...578563226?var= you`ll be able to fill one of these in 5 years time
                            The Dude abides.

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