Fall is the Time To Make Wine
My good friend Randy Frantz had been making wine for a few years and I had been very intrigued with the idea of making some myself. After watching Randy make some wine and tasting his finished products, I had to try to make some myself.
The process is actually quite simple, at least the way we do it. We purchase our grape juice from a supplier. After putting the juice into a carboy (the container that will hold the wine), yeast is added. When the yeast is added to the juice, a 10 to 14 day period of violent fermentation takes place. I use a bubbler on the top of my carboy which allows the CO2 to escape without allowing oxygen to enter. It's fun to watch the bubbler when this initial fermentation takes place. I keep the carboy in my garage during this stage because it does give off an odor when in this violent fermentation stage.
After this stage is complete, basically you just have to wait and let the wine sit for 4 to 6 months until it is done. I then bring the carboy into the house and put it in my basement. I like to have the wine sit in a cool dark place where it will stay all winter. Last fall was my first foray into wine making. I made a French Concord and was extremely pleased with the results. This year I am getting another carboy and will be making two separate batches of wine. The nice thing about wine making at this time of year is that it gives you something to look forward to during the long winter.