a DIRT & WINE blog


First post about wine making!

As stated in the About, I am a novice wine maker, this being the 2nd batch done at home. Our very first batch was at Water 2 Wine, a couple of years ago, which was a lot of fun. I fell in love with that Chilean Pinot Noir. However, they take care of so much of the work! I will have to back-post on the real first batch we did at home, which turned out fantastic.

Back to the present. Let me introduce this kit:

This week, we are close to bottle the batch of Cab. The kit is pretty advance and has taught us a lot. It came with grape skins, along with the juice, and oak chips. I had some issues racking to the secondary fermenter with the grape skins… I forced the siphon out of frustration and ended up exploding red wine all over our kitchen nook. Lesson learned. It was a mess.

In order to prepare for bottling, the instructions highly recommended filtering. We took the plunge and ordered a Buon Vino Mini Jet filtration system and waited for it to be delivered. It is awesome. Pretty simple and easy to use.

cab filteringWe filtered the wine from the glass carboy to the primary carboy with the #1 pads. Then, filtered the wine back into the glass carboy using the #2 pads.

When we racked the wine, we ran into this same problem, not getting a full 6 gallons into the carboy:

Cab filtered

This is due to making the choice to put half of the grape skins directly into the must and half bundled in a cheese cloth, into the must. The option was in the instructions, so we chose both.

I do not recommend putting the grape skins directly into the fermenter without the cloth, unless you are more experienced with this method. It left a lot of sediment at the bottom of the carboy. I’m not sure if that much sediment would still occur if bagged.

For me, like I said, it resulted in a disaster of a mess when racking with a siphon and not filtering. And again, even with the filtering system, it seems we lost some wine. I’m crossing my fingers that the wine is not in danger until we bottle. Can you believe I didn’t have similar-wine on hand to add to it? Yea, unbelievable.

The kit suggests to let it sit for a couple days before bottling, as the wine is agitated. I am hoping all goes well and get to bottle this weekend!

Of course, we had to sample some. My comments were a short burst of some kind of berry, followed by a smooth, dry finish. I’m not good at explaining the notes. I’ll work on that.

This wine is recommended to age at 1 year and even better up to 4 years. How is one supposed to wait that long?! Time to get another kit going…

I’m thinking we can name this something around, Anniversary, as this kit was a gift to celebrate our second anniversary ❤