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artful 2So, today is the day.  The day that I attempt to use my Christmas gift from my parents to make 12 bottles of my own wine, Pinot Gris to be exact.  The Artful Winemaker is a personal winemaking system, designed to make 12 bottles of selected varieties in your home and so far, it couldn’t be easier.  I’ll give you a brief breakdown of the steps involved and a blow by blow as the next 28 days progresses.

The first set of instructions has to do with sanitizing everything you’ll use in the process, I won’t bore you with the details but I imagine that contamination would be frowned upon and could, just possibly, effect the successful outcome of your project.

After everything is clean and ready to go, you dispense the concentrated grape juice, in this case Pinot Gris, in to the system and add warm water to the appropriate level.  It then has you add a clarifier known as bentonite and stir it in completely.  I’d never heard of this before do I did a little research.  Thanks to the E. C. Kraus website, I learned that bentonite is a gray, clay granule that is used in wines as a clarifier. It is unique in that it possess a negative electrostatic charge. This attracting charge along with hydrogen bonding, causes suspended particles in the wine to cling to it as it settles to the bottom of the container.

The next step is simply adding yeast, in this case Lalvin EC-1118 from the Champagne region of France, sealing the top, placing the airlock in place and walking away.  Really, that’s it.  Nothing more to do for 14 days.

Artful Winemaker Day 1I imagine I’ll find myself looking at it often to see if I can tell of any changes and it’s said to give off natural aromatics.

Now, I just have to come up with a name and label design…suggestions are welcome!