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White/Red Grape Wines

Bayou Lacroix Vineyards | Email | Basic Winemaking | Advanced Winemaking  Email | Basic Winemaking | Advanced Winemaking  


An outline of winemaking from grapes!
For the home Vintner

White and red wine making will pretty much be the same procedures with some definitive differences. As you will see from the steps below, red wines will need pulp fermentation for color extraction, whereas white wines will not need this. It is however worth noting that some vintners do leave the skins in contact with the juice for up to 48 hours prior to starting fermentation on some white wines.

Day 1 (Harvest)

Ideal measurements at harvest:  Sugar 1.080 Acid .7% to .8% Tartaric

  • Grapes are harvested and handled carefully, keep in clean containers.

  • Remove stems from grapes, either by hand or with a de-stemmer

  • Place the grapes in a sterile plastic container or other appropriate container

  • Crush the grapes, breaking open the skins.

  • Add potassium metabisulfite to the crushed grapes

    • For red wine do not press, leave crushed grapes in container

  • (White Wine) Press the grapes with a grape press, and let run off juice strain through straining bag

  •  Test the juice for sugar and acid content. Adjust if needed.

  • Make a yeast starter with some of the juice and nutrient

Day 2

  • Add yeast starter to the must.
  • Do not top up container, you must leave room for foaming.
  • Secure with airlock if you want, or just cover loosely with something

Day 6 or 7

  • Transfer must to secondary container, top up and seal with an airlock.
    • For red wine, press the skins now, and combine juice with original must.

1-2 Months Later

  • Wine should be finished and resting on lees, and/or spent yeast
  • Rack wine into clean container, top up and seal with airlock.

2 Months Later

  • Rack wine again and move to cool area

3 Months Later

  • Rack wine again.
  • Bottling can be done now if desired, or wait an additional few months.