Making Wine in New Jersey: A Step-by-Step Guide

At the Grape Expectations wine school, as in most wineries, the first process involves crushing the grapes and then pressing them. New Jersey's law relating to homemade wine amends federal law, allowing individuals over the age of 21 to manufacture up to 200 gallons of wine or malt-based alcoholic beverages for personal or domestic use each year. In our rustic wooden interiors, your wine will transform and release suspended materials such as yeast, skin particles and more. We invite our winemakers to be present during the storage process, to ensure that the unique character of the autumnal varieties is highlighted.

Winemaking at Your Own Winery begins with grape juice for wine, not grapes. When starting with grape juice for wine, the winemaking process takes only 8 weeks and can be done in relatively small batches. If you start with grapes, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you're not happy with the finished product. Check out our winemaking page for much more information.

With more options than any other custom winery in the region, you can customize your wine by choosing the region, type of grape, type of barrel and amount of aging it will receive. Its tannins and acids combine to form new substances that make it taste like wine and not just grape juice with a concentration of sulfites. Wineries use different grades of sulfites and at different stages of production, from their addition to the initial infusion to the cleaning of equipment and ventilation holes in the tanks. The alcohol content becomes 50% of the degree brix, so if the degree brix is 22 degrees, the wine will have 11% alcohol.

More than half of New Jersey's wineries grow their own grapes, but in the Skylands region, where winter days are brutal and devastating for harvests, winemakers prefer not to put all their vines in the same basket. Each “batch” of wine produces 28 full-size bottles (750 ml) (14 bottles for half a batch) of the same wine, but you can split the lot (and the cost) with your friends. As wine begins to age, tannins and pigments come together to form sediments that create a smoother wine. So if you have a mild sensitivity, opt for an aged wine or a wine made to be consumed young.

During this process, ALBA seeks stability criteria such as complete fermentation and the absence of tartaric acid crystals. The squeezed juice will flow through the perforations until it reaches the barrel, bringing the essence of the autumnal harvest to the wine. Sometimes a small amount of liquid is needed to dissolve the sugar that is added to a fruit wine or honey that is added to mead (a wine sweetened with honey). White and fruit wines with tartaric acid are bottled by the youngest; fruit wines three to four months after fermentation, white wines six months and red wines one to two years after fermentation.