The Secrets to Making Fruit Wine at Home

Fruit wine is a great way to use up the fruit harvest this season.


| July/August 2013


Your peach trees are sagging from the weight of their fruit, but your pantry still has several jars of canned peaches from last year’s harvest. What can you do when your fruit trees — or bushes or vines — yield more than you plan to eat fresh, preserve, or sell at market? That’s easy: Just make fruit wine.

Wines made from fruit other than grapes are frequently called country wines. To understand how to make country wine, it pays to first understand why most commercial wines are made from grapes.

Grape wines are made by crushing grapes and adding yeast to the juice (or, in the case of red wines, the juice and grape skins). The yeast converts the sugar in the juice into alcohol and carbon dioxide through a process called fermentation.

Grapes are well suited to this because quality wine grapes contain everything needed to make wine. Good grapes contain enough sugar that creates a preservative level of alcohol when the wine ferments. They also have sufficient acid to balance the sweetness of the wine. Additionally, ideal wine grapes supply just enough tannin to add a bit of astringency — a slight puckering feel in the mouth — which adds to the enjoyment of the beverage. This characteristic is called structure, and many wines (especially reds) are aged in oak barrels to add more tannin structure.

The “problem” with making wine from fruit other than grapes is that most fruits do not have the correct ratio of sugar, acid and tannin to make great wine. The straightforward solution to this is to simply add whatever is lacking of those three to the unfermented juice prior to fermentation.

Nothing in the winemaking process can turn bad fruit into good wine, or even average fruit into good wine. Great wine comes from great fruit, so don’t use country wines as a way to dispose of inedible fruit and expect good results.

RevGraham
8/23/2013 2:22:59 PM

My wife and I are just starting out with growing our own fruits and vegetables, and we were wondering if anyone could direct us to a easy and low cost way to build our own Greenhouses and planting/work benches inside the greenhouses.






mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on modern homesteading, animal husbandry, gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE



Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265