Welcome!

Welcome to my wine and beer making site!

Grape Warrior

I made my first batch of wine in May 1981 and my first beer in January 1984. On these pages I record my adventures in both arenas, along with a few white papers I’ve written on these subjects.

While this site is a personal record that means more to me than anyone, I’ve recorded most of my recipes including the methods used and wine/beer making notes, so the information may be useful to others.

As of February 2021, I moved the posts regarding making liqueurs from the food site to this one, as these posts fit better here. Clicking the Liqueurs menu will display these posts.

I also added pages that organize non-wine log posts of a common these. See the left side bar.

 

Oak Stix Experiment

Updated: 09/26/2021

We have completed an experiment using Next Level Oak’s oak kit product, comparing American, French, and Hungarian oak against Hungarian oak cubes. Our final tasting was on 09/26/2021 and a Conclusions section has been added to the post.

Wine Stix Experiment

 

Current Updates

In August 2021 I started a Barbera kit from Finer Wine Kits. I’m recording an in-depth description of the winemaking process. FWK stands out as their documentation and videos are the best I’ve experienced for kit wine making, and folks on WineMakingTalk are raving about the quality of the kits. So I’m in for the experiment!

The uncertain news for the 2021 grapes turned into good news! The odd growing season made available more grape varieties than in the past — we receive a single shipment and grapes available in the shipment window are what’s available to us. This changed our plans significantly: Instead of making a Syrah-based northern Rhone blend, we’re making a Grenache-based southern Rhone blend, plus we’re making an experimental Sangiovese blend using Italian grapes grown in various parts of Italy but not normally blended. Note that our grapes are grown in California — the varieties are those that originated in the Rhone Valley and Italy.

One gallon each of the 2020 varietals (Merlot, Zinfandel, & Vinifera blend) will be bottled soon, along with an unoaked gallon each of the Meritage and Meritage Plus. At this point there’s no reason to not bottle. The Meritage and Meritage Plus will be bottled when the 2021 wines are ready to go into the barrels, probably in November.

The wines currently in production are:

2021 Barbera updated 09/14/2021
2020 Meritage updated 09/14/2021
2020 Meritage Plus updated 03/07/2021

 

Recent Wines

These are wines bottled in the last 12 months (or so):

2020 Second Run Merlot / Vinifera Blend / Zinfandel updated 10/13/2021
2020 Merlot updated 09/29/2021
2020 Zinfandel updated 09/29/2021
2020 Vinifera Blend updated 09/29/2021
2020 Sauvignon Blanc updated 07/05/2021
2020 Chardonnay updated 04/17/2020
2020 Cabernet Sauvignon updated 04/17/2020
2019 Second Run Malbec / Merlot / Zinfandel (barrel) updated 10/23/2020
2020 Pinot Noir updated 09/27/2020
2019 Merlot #3 updated 09/27/2020
2019 Zinfandel updated 08/22/2020
2019 Second Run Malbec / Merlot / Zinfandel (Squeezins’) updated 08/22/2020

 

Navigation

Current posts are displayed on the right, with the most current ones first.

Wine Making: This menu contains lists of current and finished wines, along with various lists of everything I’ve made.

Beer Making: This menu contains lists of current and finished beers. I don’t have an overall list as I don’t make a lot of beer.

Blogs: Here’s you’ll find general blog posts (non-recipes) that talk about wine or beer making in general. There are also “white papers”, documents that describe technical points to the best of my ability.

Enjoy!