Rite of Spring: Bottling Homemade Wine



(photo: don’t be fooled by the Carlo Rossi gallon jugs, the contents are 100 percent homemade wine)

As many Italian Americans can attest to making homemade wine is one of the culturally defining moments of our group.  Making and bottling homemade wine is practiced by thousands of immigrants and 1st/2nd/3rd generation Italian Americans in the United States.  The process begins in the Fall with the crushing of varied grape varietals and ends in the Spring with the bottling process.  The entire Scordo homemade wine process is documented here

Our family uses whole grapes from California (as many as 6 varietals) and ages the grape juice in Oak.  We do not use sulfites, boost the fermentation process, or go through the trouble of racking.  The end result is a rustic and potent homemade wine that is appreciated and reveled or quickly spit out as unrefined junk by the faint of heart.  I hold the former opinion and value the wine for both it’s taste and philosophical importance.


(photo: cleaning the oak barrel: wine sediment after months of aging)

(photo: ready to store for the year)

(photo: filling a few “specialty” bottles)


  1. How to Make Home-Made Wine

    (photo: left to right – uncle Frank, me, my father, and cousin Enzo) Let’s face it, enjoying and collecting fine wine is an expensive hobby, especially in light of a tanking economy.  My Italian father has only bought a few…

    • Hello.. I made wine with my best friend just the same way the only thing we ad is quince apple and boil that in a big pot with the wine in till it thickens about 1/2 from when we started. Then we ad that to the barrel.. Very sad this Dec my friend passed away making wine with him for 7yrs now, going to miss the Sicilian born buddy, but I will continue to make it every Sep in memory of him for the rest of my life. Going to pass down the recipe to my family as well .. I was very glad my sister told me about your web site it’s great… My wife’s father was a Sicilian born baker so I know a lot of what I see on your site… I just have not ran into the Saint Joseph dish as of yet.. Thanks again. Bobby.

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