Pinot grigio, or pinot gris, is a particular type of grape that is used to make white wine. However, the name of the wine varies depending on where and which winery made it. For example, wine made using the pinot grigio grape is called rulander in Germany and friuli in Italy. Traditionally, the finest pinot grigio wines are harvested in the aforementioned area, although California has increased is production, too. Making your own pinot grigio is complex and long, and should be attempted only if you have the correct equipment and understanding of the wine-making process.
Things You'll Need
Grow and harvest pinot grigio grapes. As mywinesdirect.com explains, the variety of grape you use is the most important factor of the type of wine produced. Use a pinot grigio grape to make a pinot grigio wine.
Pick the grapes when they are ripe. Squash a handful and measure the sugar level using a hydrometer. If ripe, the sweetness measures 22 Brix–alternatively try a taste test. The grapes should be sweet but slightly acidic if ready for processing.
Wash the grapes to remove any excess debris, insects, mud or dirt. This prevents contamination of bacteria in your wine. Throw out any rotten grapes. Then, remove all the stalks from the grapes otherwise this will taint the flavour of the pinot grigio.
Cleanse all your winemaking equipment using boiling water.
Squash the fruit in a large pail, then strain the batch through a cheesecloth to remove all the skin so you are left with a clean fruit juice. 18 pounds of fruit gives about a gallon of juice. Crush a campden tablet and add to the fruit, then cover it and leave it in the pail for an hour.
Dilute the wine juice using water in the pail, until it is the consistency of wine (between 2 and 4 gallons of water). Then, add yeast, yeast nutrient, sugar, pectin enzyme and grape tannin. These ingredients are essential for the fermentation process to develop in the juice to turn it into a wine.
Check the acidity of the pinot grigio using a tritration kit. The acid level needs to be 6 or 7 grams per liter of wine. Use tartaric acid to bring up the level if it is too low–add it gradually so you do not make the wine too acidic.
Measure the sugar levels of the wine. Pinot grigio is a sweet wine, so add sugar if it is too sour. Add sugar dissolved in water until the level measures 22 Brix. This is tested using a hydrometer.
Leave the mixture to ferment in the pail. Make sure you secure the lid while this process takes place. Monitor the temperature of the liquid–it needs to be between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust the room temperature accordingly to maintain this. Use an electric blanket to warm it, or use a fan to cool it down.
Siphon off the fermented wine after three months, then bottle it. Do this by inserting a clear, flexible plastic tubing in the pail. Then, begin drawing the wine out by sucking on the tube until the wine starts flowing freely. When wine starts coming out of the tube, place the tubing inside a bottle.
Place a cork in the bottle using a hand corker. Leave the wine for another three months for the flavors to develop.