2006 Pinot Noir

October 2006 – My experiences with kits indicates that I should follow the instructions. So I actually read the instructions through before starting, and plan to stick with them.

Apparently I purchased my drill-mounted stirring rod part way through this kit. I have found that to be a very valuable piece of equipment.

This year I decided to spruce the labels up, so I added a light background color. When I was done printing 4 sets of labels I discovered that I had used up an entire set of inkjet cartridges. These were expensive labels! I learned to use colored paper instead of ink.


Kit Vino del Vida Wine Pinot Noir Kit
Bentonite yes
Sugar 3 cups
Oak Dust yes
Yeast package included in the kit, did not record what it was
used Lalvin EC-1118 to jump start the wine
Sorbate yes
Sulfite yes
Fining Agent Isinglass


Read the instructions completely before starting, a new personal achievement! 🙂

Put 1 gallon warm water in primary — stirred in bentonite. Added concentrate, then rinsed bag with hot water and added to fermenter. Topped with cool water to 5-1/2 gallons. Instructions said top to 6 gallons, but I want a slightly richer wine — plus I want it to fit in a 5 gallon carboy. So much for following the instructions exactly 🙂

SG was 1.065 — added 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, which brought the SG up. According to instructions the SG should have been between 1.074 and 1.090. I may contact the vendor about this.

Added oak dust and yeast. Covered fermenter loosely with plastic wrap. I’m supposed to check at the 6 to 10 day mark for SG of 1.010 or less.

SG 1.092
No activity 2 days later. Jump started it with an activated package of Lalvin EC-1118. 10/08/2006
SG 1.092
First racking — put in carboy with 750 ml top up in clean bottle. 10/15/2006
SG 1.002
Second racking. Added sulfite & sorbate, used drill mounted stirring rod to mix the wine. Drove off a LOT of CO2. Added isinglass and stirred again. Drove off more gas. Airlock perked for a minute or so, guaranteeing a CO2 cushion.

Note: I started the Fume Blanc and Chenin Blanc today, using the stirring rod to mix the must. SG on both came out fine. I’m wondering if the low SG on this one was due to improper mixing. If so this one is going to be hot!

SG 0.994
Racked 03/19/2007
SG 0.994
Added 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite. Bottled. 05/23/2007
SG 0.994


Yield 26 bottles
Alcohol 13.3%
05/23/2007 Not a bad flavor at bottling. I think it will develop a bit with age. The topup bottle has been sitting on some lees since November 2006. Gave it a bit of an earthy flavor, but overall not bad. Poured the last of it through a coffee filter and am drinking it as I type …
04/28/2008 This one has continued to be a nice, drinkable wine. Nothing special, just decent.