brew_cat, wine is deceptive: heck, if you simply stuff some grapes into a jar they'll split, ferment and you'll have wine.
Only it won't be the best wine you could make. Winemaking can be more complex than beer making, because the raw materials vary so much from harvest to harvest. You can go deep, measuring pH, TA, FAN, do a chromatograph for acid levels, make choices about pre-fermentation adjustment, alter the wine substantially by yeast choice, and that only gets it fermenting. After that you can invoke post-fermentation elevage for everything from oak to malolactic to micro-ox.
But the back-of-the-napkin basics for a pail of juice are
- Sanitation (if you make beer, you're ridiculously overqualified in this area)
- Good strain of yeast
- Appropriate temperature (not nearly as critical as it is for beer, especially if you're using pressed juice)
- Racking after 70-89% of fermentation is complete
- Secondary carboy with bung and airlock
- Another racking to a clean carboy a few days after the completion of fermentation
- Sulfite addition at that racking and topping up
- A few months ageing
- Fining, adjusting sulfite
- Racking to your keg (I do this all the time)
You can check out this article by my friends Bob and Byron for a deeper background.