Guidelines for preparing shemitah wine and grape juice at home
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How can I prepare Shemitah wine at home?
Now that it is grape harvest season, here are guidelines for preparing wine and grape juice at home (references to wine include grape juice):
Private individuals may harvest or buy an amount of grapes sufficient to prepare wine for a year (approximately 70 bottles). It is permissible to prepare wine employing all conventional methods (squeezing, pasteurizing).
The branches of the grapevine do not have kedushat shevi'it; however, if grapes are still attached to them they are sacred.
After the wine is filtered (solids are filtered from the liquid), it is permissible to prepare secondary wine, but it is not mandatory to do so.
It is permissible to age wine as usual.
The solid left-over residue has kedushat shevi'it, since additional wine can be pressed from it. It should be handled accordingly.
Wine may be pasteurized in a closed container.
Wine should not be boiled only to prevent it from being disqualified if touched by a non-Jew (yayin mevushal), since this adversely effects its taste.
Wine should not be cooked, as this process reduces its quantity.
However, if cooking the wine enhances its quality, it is possible to be lenient.
It is permissible to use shemitah wine to enhance the flavor of baked goods and drinks.
For more on preparing shemitah wine at home, see Chapter 17 of The Consumer's Guide for Shemitah:here