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Making wine at home picks up in Ohio

Get the inside details on the new trend picking up in Ohio.

MADISON, Ohio — What starts as a grape on a vine is quickly turned into fresh pressed juice at Debonne Vineyards in Madison, Ohio. 

Chuck Berg has been buying the juice here for 30 years.

“They have reasonable prices and they have probably the best juice around. You can either press the grapes yourself or buy the juice,” says Berg.

The latest trend is droves of people coming in to try juice, buying it, and making wine at home.

Michael Harris, the Winemaker at Debonne Vineyards says weekends are extremely busy with cars lined up down the block to buy fresh pressed grape juice. He adds a lot of people are excited to try the new hobby.

“If you follow the steps, its attainable, you can really do this! But there is some attention to detail that people need to follow,” says Harris.

Debonne sells everything you need to get started from the juice, to the chemicals, to the containers. Chris Conrad has made his own wine for 5 years and has a clear favorite.

“Chardonnay so far, I enjoy making the chardonnay. It’s pretty good. (It’s an) Easier wine to make and it ferments faster,” says Conrad.

Harris offers first time wine makers the same advice:  

“The first few times, you want to do as little manipulation as possible. So you might not have to adjust the acid, you might not have to adjust the bricks which is the sugar,” says Harris.

If making your own wine seems scary, you could just enjoy the juice. If you choose to start the wine making at home hobby, just keep in mind it will take several weeks before you know if you’ve been successful. 

“Start small! Maybe just a couple gallons at a time, maybe not 24 gallons at a time like I’m doing today,” says Conrad.