Winemaking Room Layout

by Matthew Williams

Creating your own wine can be an exceptionally rewarding endeavor. Not only do you get to enjoy your homemade creation, over time you can perfect your recipe to your own tastes that you may not find in a commercial brand. No matter the scale of your operation, there are a few areas you will need to set up in your wine room so your trials and tribulations are not for naught.

Pressing Station

You will need a place to press your grapes to extract the juice. Consider the amount of bottles you want to make at one time when determining the size of this area. It takes a large amount of grapes to make one bottle of wine, so plan accordingly. In this area, you will need a large sink with sprayers or showers to wash your grapes. You will also need a container to hold the grapes when they are being pressed. Whether you want a small mortar and pestle style setup or an "I Love Lucy" style depends largely on your space considerations and the amount of grapes you want to press at one time.

Racking Area

A good racking area is key to your success as a home winemaker. While the wine is fermenting, sediment settles out of the wine. This sediment, known as wine lees, needs to be removed. This process is called racking. Your best strategy when designing this area is to have a place to store your fermenting wines that is at least tall enough for you to fit another cask or carboy underneath. This way, when you siphon off the wine, you can use gravity to help get it to the bottom container without disturbing the lees. Don't ferment on the ground and then lift it when you go to siphon because that will disturb the lees and you will have to wait for them to settle out again.

Bottle Racks

After the racking is complete, you are ready to bottle. You can simply bottle in the racking area if you set it up as described here. You will need wine racks to store your bottles while they age. Don't simply stand the bottles up, as this can dry the corks out, and they may break upon opening. The best method of wine storage is to position the bottles so they are slightly inverted, but horizontal will do. Set up your wine racks so the wine is constantly bathing the corks and keeping everything moist.

About the Author

Matthew Williams has his Bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in chemistry and also holds his Master's degree in Secondary Education. While concurrently working on two more Master's degrees, he teachers advanced biology at the high school level full time. His major passion is music and he has played numerous instruments over the past 20 years, including piano, guitar, bass