If you’ve taken SHW’s Winemaking 101 (or equivalent), OR after a vintage or two you’re still struggling with winemaking, this Club activity can get you on the path to making good wines.
Beginning Winemakers Group Crush • This mentored group crush brings together new and novice winemakers where we crush together and participants ferment their batch in their home winery. If fermentations finish around the same time, the group may reassemble at the crush pad for a pressing party. This activity is for SHW members only.
Tinta Roriz • This year’s group crush will be making Tinta Roriz, a Portuguese grape that’s known as Tempranillo in Spain. We’ve partnered with St. Jorge Winery in Acampo for a couple of tons of grapes.
Vineyard Walk and Lodi Wine Labs Field Trip • The vineyard walk at St. Jorge Winery is scheduled for Saturday, August 24. You’ll get to check out the grapes and also meet St. Jorge’s winemaker, Luke Laubaugh. The vineyard walk is optional but recommended. • We’ll also visit Lodi Wine Labs where you’ll get acquainted with the yeast, chemicals and other additives to get you started in winemaking.
The Crush • We’ll try to schedule the crush for a Saturday and give you as much head notice as possible – Nature makes the call on when the grapes are ready for harvest. • The grapes will be picked for us. • Thad Rodgers and Joe Morgan will haul the grapes to Joe’s driveway/crush pad in Citrus Heights and everyone participates in the group crush. • At the crush, Thad will go over some chemistry. • Between now and crush, connect with a group crush mentor to guide you in making a wine you’ll be proud of: Thad Rodgers, 916 715-3688; Joe Morgan 916 439-7205; or Joe McGillivray 916 261-9438.
If you’d like to participate (for beginning/newer winemakers only) • Reserve your quantity: contact Gin Yang at email@example.com with the amount of grapes you’d like. We suggest purchasing a minimum of 125 lbs of grapes = 6 to 7+ gallons freshly pressed = 5 gallons finished wine (25 bottles). Only two tons are available so reserve early. • Cost: the grapes will probably run about $1 lb and includes picking crew, transportation, renting crusher, testing, etc.
• Once you commit to buying the grapes, you are responsible for payment and getting the grapes.
• If you aren’t available on crush day, please find someone to get your must (crushed grapes) and help with crush/clean-up.
• Because Nature doesn’t know your social calendar, stay available by not scheduling unbreakable commitments during harvest season weekends (late August to mid-October).
• You’re responsible for your own transportation and containers to transport the must to your home winery. Please note that the liquid-like must is prone to uncontrolled sloshes and makes the stickiest messes in cars.
• Be prepared with your basic winemaking ensemble, and basic chemicals (yeast, yeast nutrient, tartaric acid, malo-lactic bacteria and nutrient, SO2/KMBS/potassium metabisulfite). A “Resources” list has been supplied to WM 101 participants; contact Gin if you would like one emailed.
• Lodi Wine Labs has several chemical items “carboy sized” and offers a 5% discount on retail items (call first for availability).
• If you are participating and you don’t receive periodic communications on this activity, please contact your mentor.