Making Wine – This Year Sangiovese

This is my 4th year making wine and I decided to go with Sangiovese grapes, the main grape in Chianti, a wine we like.  I got 6 “lugs” from California Wine Grape Co, a place in Detroit that brings grapes in from California.  Each lug is, I think, 36 pounds so that is 216 pounds of grapes which I expect to yield 15-16 gallons of wine, or about 7 cases.  When you buy the grapes they will also run the grapes through their crusher/destemmer for $2 a lug.

The crushed grapes, or must, has a specific gravity of 1.106 which will yield a alcohol content of between 13% and 14%.  The acid level is .7, which is right where you want it for a dry red.

One of the most amazing things I experienced when I started making wine is to taste the juice before starting fermentation.  It is so very sweet and fruity tasting.  However it is wine in about two weeks as the sugar has been converted to alcohol, but it sure tastes bad at two weeks.  Harsh might be a better word.  It becomes drinkable after about a year, but you can tell it is a “young” wine.  It’s better to wait 2 years and 3 is even better.

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