How To Make Wine With Our Grape Juice

make wine with grape juice

Making wine at home has never been easier. Today, home winemaking can be made much simpler by utilizing pre-crushed and pH balanced grape juice from Papagni Fruit Company. The juice comes in 5.4 or 6 gallon buckets, so be sure to make enough wine to both fill your storage containers, and to top off these containers as they are emptied, or to replace lost wine due to eventual evaporation that occurs during aging.

Basics To Deciding What Wine To Make:

California grapes from Papagni's vineyards are sure to be mature and have enough sugar content for whatever types of wine you wish to produce. Be advised that mature grapes sometimes require the addition of acids to balance out the pH. We recommend pH in the neighborhood of 3.3 to 3.4 at the start of fermentation for quality wine. If you do not wish to make pH adjustments, utilize high acid varieties like Barbera in your blends.

For home winemaking purposes, we always recommend blending in at least 5% of our Alicante Bouschet to all wine as it helps to best imitate wines from commercial wineries. Naturally, we suggest only using the highest quality grapes or grape juice to make your wine. No matter what you do, if you start with great grapes from Papagni's vineyards, then your winemaking adventures has it greatest chance of success.


We recommend adding cultured yeasts to your juice, as it produces wine of a higher quality, than wine fermented from the natural yeasts of the berries. To add yeast, take a pan of juice, and mix it thoroughly with the yeast, let it sit for about a half an hour, then add and mix the yeast solution into the fermenting tank. Ask your supplier about yeast, and about other additives to improve the quality of your wine.


In choosing a container for fermentation, pick a tank that has a 20% larger capacity than the amount of juice that you will be fermenting to account for heat expansion during fermentation. MAKE SURE THAT ALL EQUIPMENT THAT COMES IN CONTACT WITH THE JUICE IS CLEAN AND SANITIZED! The greatest impediment to producing quality wine is bacteria that can grow in the tank. We recommend using either household bleach or a solution of water and chlorinated trisodium phosphate (about 1 table spoon per gallon) to sanitize your fermenting tanks, hoses, and anything else that comes in contact with your juice, or finished wine. Make sure to rinse your tools and tanks thoroughly with clean water before opening your bucket(s).


To start fermentation, stir the ENTIRETY of the bucket(s) contents into your fermenting tank. At this point, add yeast at about one packet of yeast per bucket of juice.

Keep the juice cool by lowering a bucket with ice into the fermenting tank to cool the fermentation. Let the cold bucket sit in the juices as long as it takes to bring the temperature to an optimum range for fermenting (this may be repeated a few times during fermentation). Red wines should be fermented at about 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. White wines need to be fermented much cooler- about 55 to 60 degrees. Hotter than this and your wine will not ferment correctly, and at cooler temperatures, it may be difficult to complete fermentation.

After fermentation has finished, let the wine settle so that the wine has a chance to clarify.

Store finished wine in clean containers that have been sanitized in the same manner as your fermentation tank.


Barrels need to be very clean before they are used, and they need to be free of any leaks. To test your barrel, fill your barrel with a solution of water, and a small amount of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2). Let the barrel sit and swell, and if there is any sign of leakage, have your barrel repaired.

For protection of your wine, never use implements that have ever come in contact with vinegar, since it could ruin your wine. Never make wine, or store wines near vinegar as the bacteria from the vinegar could infect the wine, and turn it into vinegar.

* Papagni Grape Juice Buckets are guaranteed to contain the exact same grapes as our juice grape lugs.

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