2008 Zinfandel

October 2008I purchased this kit ‘cuz I wanted a Zinfandel … and for no other reason. That is definitely a sufficient reason for making wine.

I created a joke label for most wines during this period.


Kit Vino del Vida Red Zinfandel Kit
Bentonite yes
Yeast Lalvin EC-1118
Sulfite yes
Sorbate yes
Kieselsol yes
Chitosan yes


Once again making a valiant attempt to follow the directions! This time I purchased 5 gallons of spring water. My home water (from well) has a lot of minerals in it, VERY hard, and it may be giving my wines a odd taste. I’m trying this as an experiment.

Dissolved bentonite in 1 gallon water in fermenter, using powered stirring rod to mix. Added juice/concentrate and topped up to 6 gallons, again mixing well. Surprisingly enough the SG came out good, at the top end of what the directions called for (1.074 – 1.090).

Added the oak dust and rehydrated elderberries (added for body). Rehydrated the yeast and added it (forgot to add 1 tsp sugar to the yeast so it didn’t bubble up).

SG 1.090
This fermented out faster than the directions indicated, which is surprising as in the fall/winter my wine making area is around 62 F. As per the instructions added sulphite and potassium sorbate. Yet again that stirring rod makes life SOOOO much easier!

The kit directions specify that the Kieselsol and Chitosan must be added in that order. I need to find out why. But regardless I did as specified …

SG 0.997
Bottled the wine. I’m not sure how sitting on the lees with the kit chemicals in it affects the wine, so while I’m a bit late in bottling I made sure it was done sooner than later. 12/13/2008
SG 0.997


Yield 27 bottles
Alcohol 12.6%
12/13/2008 Had 1/3 bottle left at bottling, drank it while cooking dinner (venison!). It’s definitely green but tasty. I can tell there’s elderberries in it (added to the kit for body). We’ll see how it looks at the 6 month mark.
11/16/2009 Down to 2 bottles. This one has held up well. Not a lot of Zin character, but it’s a good table wine. I’ll made it again …