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for the Beginner, Novice, and Seasoned Hobbyist

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The Winemaking Home Page

by Jack Keller of Pleasanton, Texas (just south of San Antonio)

Custom wine refrigeration cooler

Please take a look at one of my sponsors. Any purchase made through this link to Wine Cooler Direct will help support this site. Besides a large variety of in-home wine coolers (the perfect gift for the wine connoisseur who has everything), you can also find some beginners' winemaking supplies there.

Portions of this website were updated
July 3, 2015

If our website has helped you in your wine or mead making
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wine bottle Prelude: "My gratitude exceeds my reward."
wine bottle Introduction to Winemaking: "It can be simple...."
wine bottle Getting Started: "...do it right"
wine bottle My Approach: "Make no wine before its time."
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wine bottle A Different Approach: "If it is not moving, ferment it!"

wine bottle Winemaking Home Page Search Engine: "Now you can
blank spaceSEARCH this site!"

wine bottle Jack Keller's WineBlog: "First wine blog on the net!"
blank space Updated 7/3/15
wine bottle Wine Accessories: "fine wine glasses and corkscrews"
blank space Good reviews!

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wine bottle Glossary of Winemaking Terms: "A new language...."
wine bottle The Basic Steps: "The fundamentals...in detail."
wine bottle Advanced Winemaking Basics: "The foundations...."
blank spaceYeast Strains updated 12/12/14!
wine bottle The Miracle of Yeast : "All about yeast and their strains."
wine bottle Winemaking Questions : "Questions and answers...."

wine bottle Winemaking Recipes: "You can experiment, or...."
blank space The largest collection on the Internet today!!!
wine bottle Requested Recipes: "Answering viewer needs...."
wine bottle Visitor-Submitted Recipes: "Recipes shared by viewers"
blank space More recipes--
wine bottle Wines from Wild Edible Plants : "Nature will provide...."
blank space MORE winemaking recipes--
wine bottle Making Wines in Texas : "If it ain't toxic...."
blank space You don't have to be a Texan to try'em!
wine bottle Native North American Grapes and Recipes : "Good wine"
blank space Wild grapes grow almost everywhere....

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wine bottle The Winemaker's Library: "Essential references...."
wine bottle Winemaking & Homebrew Shops: "You've got to buy it
blank space somewhere...."
updated 2/6/12!
wine bottle Winemaking on the Web: "Resources galore!"
blank space updated 03/27/13!
wine bottle Wine Labels: "Making your own wine labels"
wine bottle San Antonio Regional Wine Guild: "My club's web site"

wine bottle The Potential Health Benefits of Red Wine Comsumption :
blank space"It's not just good, it's good for you, too."
wine bottle Six Short Poems About Wine: by Jack Keller

wine bottle Other Pages: "Go ahead, click on something!"
blank spaceFlyfishing,
blank spaceCollecting Hummels,
blank spaceColorado College,
blank spaceStamp Collecting
blank spaceThe Webmaster,
blank spaceYour Page,
blank spaceMy Colita, updated 4/28/08
blank spaceThe Art of Christine Rosamond,
blank spaceTexas,
blank spaceQuizes by Jack Keller,
blank spaceand much, much more!

Winemaking Books of the Month

Great references or gifts for the serious winemaker

Techniques In Home Winemaking: A Practical Guide to Making Chateau-Style Wines (Revised and Considerably Expanded)
by Daniel Pambianchi

blank spaceAvailability: Usually ships within 24 hours.
blank spacePaperback 512 pages (April 2008)
blank spaceBook Description:
blank space"A competent guide to making premium grape wines at home"

Greatly revised, this is a very good book. The rather lofty objectives inferred by its title and stated in its "Preface" are more than adequately met. Indeed, the book is geared toward achieving good wine from average grapes through proven methods of balancing aroma, body, clarity, color, taste, and style. In all, it succeeds in achieving these goals.

The book is laid out in a logical order that progresses from the general and introductory to the specific and detailed. Among the introductory topics are a discussion of wine styles, grapes, juices, concentrates, and an analysis of wine itself. The author then discusses winemaking equipment and the additives and chemicals used to control musts and shape the character of the wines produced by controlling sugar, alcohol, acidity, pH, and sulfur dioxide. He discusses the preparation of the grapes for processing, the maceration process, pressing, alcoholic fermentation, malolactic fermentation, and stabilization. Not only does he explain the processes themselves, but he offers sound advice and skillful techniques even old hands will appreciate. He then devotes a well-written chapter to clarification methods and products, from simple racking schedules to a variety of fining products and filtration systems. He then moves into and through the all-important and oft-overlooked subject of blending varieties and vintages to achieve more complex and interesting wines. His chapter on oak barrels is perhaps the best I have read. Not only does he thoroughly discuss the preparation and maintenance of oak, but also traditional and modern methods of fermenting and aging wines in oak, including spoilage problems, how to treat them, and more importantly how to prevent them. Alternative oaking methods are also discussed. Finally, he concludes the basics of winemaking by discussing bottling, closures and cellaring.

Had Pambianchi stopped there, his book would have surpassed most in useful content. Instead, he spends three chapters discussing the ins and outs of making sparkling wines, ports and icewines. From must preparation to specific techniques of alcoholic fermentation for each, he explains the fundamentals with clarity and thoroughness. For sparkling wines, the bottle fermentation, disgorgement, dosage, and bottling are the final steps that lead to success or failure. Portwine making is not simply fortifying a sweet still wine, and icewine making is not simply prematurely stopping the fermentation in a late harvested, highly-acid, very sweet, grape must. Pambianchi clarifies these differences and defines the essence of each. Here, his book excells.

He then goes back to the basics and discusses vinification and winemaking problems anyone could encounter and how to treat them. This is a wonderful chapter for anyone who ever encounters one of these, for Pambianchi discusses the 14 most common problems and their resolutions better than do most authors of similar books. When combined with his coverage of the problems associated with oak barrel aging, this book's value is potentially enormous. I highly recommend this book. (Reviewed by Jack Keller)

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Knowing and Making Wine
by Emile Peynaud

book cover blank spaceAvailability: Usually ships within 24 hours.
blank spaceHardcover 416 pages (October 1984)
blank spaceBook Description: blank spaceFor many, this is the bible of technical winemaking

The serious winemaker cannot do better than turning to this highly respected, authoritative and expert French enologist. The book offers a complete survey of wine-making techniques and wine appreciation in easy to understand terms without complicated chemical formulae. It treats every aspect of wine science from both the theoretical and practical point of view. Further, it provides the student or professional with the opportunity to solve problems which arise and guides them to the proper solutions.

John Morgan wrote, "This book differed from any other winemaking reference I have encountered. While the text is aging and some of the information is therefore of questionable accuracy (eg: "open top fermenters are losing favor for red wine vinification"), I found these lapses to be mostly in the category of trends in practice and therefore obvious. These minor shortcomings are overwhelmed by the unique viewpoints of a man known rightfully as one of the wine worlds giants. There are brilliant insights into vinification and wine structure in this book that I have encountered nowhere else. Not in other texts, symposia, trade journals or conversations with great winemakers. If you are a professional or serious amateur winemaker, buy this book and read it. Then read it again."

My own copy is well thumbed and I refuse to lend it to anyone lest it be lost or unintentionally soiled. If you make kit wines, don't bother with this one. If you make wine from grapes or fruit, you will, without doubt, learn much from Emile Peynaud. I certainly did. (Jack Keller's review)

Order here from Amazon.com

Volume 1, The Handbook of Enology: Microbiology of Wine
by Pascal Ribereau-Gayon, et al.

book cover blank spaceAvailability: New and used; usually ships within 24 hours.
blank spaceHardcover 512 pages (February 2006)
blank spaceBook Description: blank spaceTechnical stuff for people who want it

Since the discovery in the nineteenth century of the role of yeast in fermentation, the findings of chemists, biochemists and microbiologists have led to controlled conditions in winemaking, producing more varied and higher quality wines.

Handbook of Enology Volume 1: The Microbiology of Wine and Vinifications uniquely combines scientific knowledge with the description of day-to-day work in the first stages of winemaking, from grape-picking to the end of the fermentation processes. It discusses the scientific basics and technological problems of wine-making and the resulting consequences for the practitioner, providing an authoritative and complete reference manual for both the winemaker and the student. This text will be invaluable to winemakers, students of enology or vinification and chemists interested in winemaking.

Order here from Amazon.com

Home Winemaking Step-by-Step
by Jon Iverson

blank spaceAvailability: Usually ships within 24 hours.
blank spacePaperback 250 pages (4th Edition, September 2009)
blank spaceBook Description:
blank spaceThe single best resource I've found for making grape wines

If you've never before made wine from grapes but want to try it, or if you've been making it for years but simply want to improve your skills and your wine, Home Winemaking Step by Step is the single best resource for that task. Jon Iverson has written a book anyone can use with confidence. His writing is straightforward, concise and lay-oriented, and both beginner and advanced winemaker will feel this book was writen for them.

For the beginner, it is refreshingly complete. For the advanced winemaker, it contains nuggets of technique and insight that will prove valuable and useful.

Iverson's treatment of acidity, cold soaking and stabilization, extended and carbonic macerations, malolactic fermentation, sparkling wine methods, fining, and oaking are pregnant with value. While most would agree these are advanced topics, Jon works them into the overall process so effortlessly that the beginner might never know he is being ushered through a collegiate. Similarly, the appendices are loaded with procedures, tables, insights, and resources all will find useful. This 4th edition is much more than previous editions were. (Reviewed by Jack Keller)

Order here from Amazon.com

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Blackberry Wines

More than you ever wanted to know about blackberries, their varieties, and 10 recipes for declicious blackberry wines, including five new recipes never published before anywhere.

Dandelion Wines

The ultimate collection of 30 dandelion wine recipes, including Jack Keller's very best! Plus, 12 additional dandelion-based wine recipes.

Watermelon Wines

Here are 10 recipes for delicate and sometimes exquisite wines, including five new recipes never published before anywhere. Watermelon wines can be difficult to make well, but when successful they elicit awe and genuine respect....

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WineMaker Magazine

Jack Keller Wins 2 Best of Shows and an Honorable Mention, 2010blank spaceJack Keller Wins Best of Show and an Honorable Mention, 2009blank spaceJack Keller Wins Best of Show and an Honorable Mention, 2007

Jack Keller wins several Best of Show and Honorable
Mention rosettes at various competitions.

Jack Keller
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Updated July 3rd, 2015

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Home Page Prelude My Approach Getting Started Glossary of Terms Search This Site
The Basic Steps Advanced Winemaking All About Yeast Using Your Hydrometer Winemaker's Library Winemaking Links
Winemaking Recipes Requested Recipes Winemaking in Texas Wines From Edible Plants Native North American Grapes Visitor-Submitted Recipes
Wine Labels Conversions and Equivalents Measuring Additives Winemaking Problems Jack's WineBlog The Author

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