Home Make It – 2013 Advanced Winemaking Course

Written by Frank Bovezza — November 7, 2013

Every year Home Make It run Advanced Homemade Winemaking Courses for the wine enthusiast. Our students range from people looking to make their own wine at home, to the amateur winemaker that is looking to improve their knowledge and understanding to make a better drop. The courses are educative workshops that cover the entire winemaking process. Students are provided with detailed winemaking processing fact sheets, as well as developing hands on experience making a batch of wine over 6 nights. These evenings are spread over the year with each night focusing on the different stages in the winemaking process. The idea of the course is to encourage each student to take what they learn from each night, at each stage of the winemaking process, and put that into practice on their own batch of wine at home.

  

The Advanced Winemaking Course

 

WINE BASICS & TRICKS OF THE TRADE (1st Class - Intro)

  • Wine styles
  • Wine additives and how to use them
  • Grape selection
  • Wine making essentials (Dosages and measurements)

CRUSHING & FERMENTATION (1st Class)

  • Crushing techniques
  • Fermentation processes
  • Yeast types
  • Nutrient types
  • Enzymes
  • Winemaking kits and how to use them
  • How to rehydrate yeasts
  • How to deal with stuck ferments and other fermentation problems
  • Additive additions to wine during fermentation

PRESSING, MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION & STORAGE TECHNIQUES (2nd Class)

  • Pressing techniques
  • Juice management
  • Malolactic fermentation Part 1
  • Storage options; tanks, demijohns and barrels

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION OAK, FININGS & BARRELS (3rd Class)

  • Malolactic fermentation Part 2
  • Oak types and use
  • Fining agents and trails
  • Barrel maintenance and assessment

WINE ADJUSTMENTS, WINE FAULTS & BLENDING TECHNIQUES (4th Class)

  • Wine adjustments during maturation
  • Wine making faults and analysis
  • Wine blending techniques

RACKING & PRESERVING PROCESSES (5th Class)

  • Racking techniques
  • Preservative techniques and options
  • Fermentation and racking problems and solutions

WINE FILTRATION & BOTTLING (6th Class)

  • Wine maturation
  • Wine adjustments and filtration
  • Wine bottling techniques

The 2013 Winemaking Course gathered together a great group of students who were all looking to make their own perfect wine at home. This year we produced a Heathcote Shiraz, however the student's grape selection for their own batch at home was quite varied, from Shiraz to Cabernet Sauvignon, and even a rare Nero D’Avola in the mix.

 

It all started on the 8th March 2013 when the group crushed approximately 500kg of hand-picked Heathcote Shiraz purchased from The Shiraz Republic. It fermented on skins for approximately 2 weeks where the students were back on the 22nd March 2013 for pressing. They then transferred the wine into a Garbellotto Oak Barrel for fermentation completion and storage.

On the 19th April 2013, the students were back again for their 3rd class focusing on the malolactic fermentation process. We covered theory on oak types and seeing the effects that the different oaks made on different wines.

During their  4th Class on the 23rd May 2013, they learnt to identify the different types of "faults" in wines.The group learnt about products that can be used for 'wine adjustments' such as tannins. They also did some trials on blending wines that demonstrate the benefits of blending different wines on the end product.

On the 19th July 2013, the students had their 5th Class where they learnt racking techniques and preserving options. They all participated in racking their very own course wine into a Stainless Steel Variable Capacity Tank and added preservative.

The final class was a great night where the students went through the filtering and bottling processes and then set up a manual bottling line, each sharing the different stages in bottling from sterilising the bottles, filling, corking, capsule application, labeling and finally packing into boxes.

The end result, each student taking home 12 bottles of the Home Make It - 2013 Advanced Winemaking Course - Heathcote Shiraz!

 

Being a Home Make It course, our students had the pleasure of tasting the fruits of everything homemade, with most evenings ending with homemade sausages on the BBQ or a homemade Pizza Night. The students brought in some great examples of commercial wines for tastings to share and we even got to samples their own batches they made at home, which are all fantastic wines.

Like all Home Make It courses, a fun time was had by all, whilst learning the craft of making homemade wine.   

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the students of the Home Make It – 2013 Advanced Winemaking Course for their enthusiasm for the winemaking process and Course. A special thank you to our very own winemaker, Steven Lamberto, who instructs our course with expertise in winemaking, passing on years of knowledge and experience to the students, and who has created what I believe is a great example of Heathcote Shiraz. 

 

PS, stay tuned for details of our 2014 Advanced Homemade Winemaking Courses run across Melbourne.  

 

Cheers! 

Frank Bovezza

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