Home Winemaking 101 – Main Event


Such a great hobby – Making your own wine, or beer! 200 gallons per household is a goodly amount! I know its probably more than Robin and I consume out of our cellar in a year. (That’s why the cellar never decreases in size!) You can adhere to the KISS philosophy (Keep It Simple Stupid) and have a small process. Or you can have several of your neighbors or friends join in. Share the cost and the equipment. Use a garage. The process photographed here is a neighbor cooperative and it works out fine.

These are some wines that Robin and I have made. We use a very small process – 5 gallon bucket, 5 gallon fermentation jar; syphon plastic tubing; reused bottles; our own labels.
But to keep this in perspective. one should always have food with wine and this party was no exception. Look at the buffet that Chef James and his staff prepared for us! A wonderful Potato Bar with all the toppings. Thanks James and your Staff.

Custard, Cheese and Vegetable Platter, Shrimp Salad

Shrimp Salad and Potato Toppings

Baked Potatoes

Beef Tips with Mushrooms
(Delicious!)

The plated dinner.

Now that we’ve eaten, let’s have some wine!

President Gerry Riemer welcomes everyone.

KC Jones from Brewers Connoisseurs on State Street in Boise, shows everyone how a small fruit press works and then we all tried the fresh Merlot juice.

Ray Oelrich from the Riverwoods group, explains how a port – fortified wine – is produced and the difference between a Port and Sherry. It’s a matter of sweetness and alcohol.

Here are some of the tools used in wine production of a home winemaking level.

There were 30+ folks who attended the event and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the information that was given. Many, many thanks to all of the presenters.

And here are some photos of the Riverwoods group production. There are several households that go together to make the wine. They all share in the cost, the time needed to produce the wine and then, the end product.

Sampling the wine as it ferments directly from the barrel.

Clearing the sediment from the top of a sampling jar.

Robin and Lee Buddecke evaluate and discuss the wines.

Robin tastes and evaluates the wines. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!

The wines need to be punched down to keep the grape skins in the juice.

An exciting program. Hope we do this again next year. Cheers!

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