RJ Cole Winery

Insights into the world of an amateur home winemaker.

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Cole Wines anagrams to Senile Cow.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What exactly would ya' say it is you do here?

Hi again everyone! Thursday morning now. I'm getting excited about starting the wine this weekend!

I just popped open the first bottle of my first batch of wine a couple of weeks ago. It was a Blackberry Wine Vintage 2004. Both Kat and I thought it was really good, but it turned out even better after I chilled it! I can't wait to let more people try it, but I've got to get the labels on first.

I first became enamored with the idea of home winemaking after hearing the song "Blackberry Wine" by Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys. I thought about doing it for a couple of years before I finally sat down and started getting my thoughts together about it. I looked up a recipe online and found a great Home Winemaking website run by a man named Jack Keller called The Winemaking Homepage. It's full of useful info for the home winemaker. Igot a recipe there, and found a link to my local winemaking supply store: Alternative Beverage. After a stop there to pick up supplies and a trip to the farmer's market and Bloom (I bought all of the remaining blackberries at the farmer's market, but still needed a few more!) I was ready to go.

It was a little bit of work, but I was on my way to 5 gallons (2 cases (24 bottles)) of Blackberry wine with no idea of how it would turn out! I was hopeful and nervous at the same time!

In everything I've read on the subject of Home Winemaking, one of the most important things suggested was to keep notes to record what you've done and track the progress of your wine. This will be extremely helpful for future batches of wine. If the wine turns out bad, then you can go back and see what you did and try differnt things to make it better the next time. If the wine turns out good, then you have a record of how it was made so you can reproduce the wine the next time.

Well, it may come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I decided I would just remember what I did. And while I have to brag that I have a good memory, it can be tough to remember whether I let the wine ferment in the primary for 5 days or 6 days, whether I used 1.5 pounds of sugar or 2 pounds, and later whether I added a 1.5 sugar solution or 1.75 to sweeten the wine. Alas, my existing batch of blackberry wine may be the only one of it's kind to touch the face of this earth. I'll likely do things differently next time without wanting to.

That's the purpose of this blog. It will serve as my notebook to record the procedures I use and the amounts of ingredients that go into my wines. I offer it to y'all as something that may interest you on how I'm doing with the wine. I intend to eventually add photos of the wine as it is progressing. Maybe I'll throw in a random thought here and there about the world and anything else I want to say. Feel free to leave comments (please leave comments!) and I'll try to keep things interesting!

More soon!


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