Fellow blogger and commercial winemaker Michael shares with us here at da-AL’s blog his joy of making wine from fruit…
My elder cousin studied chemistry and told me how to do it. It was more an experiment than actual winemaking. We made elderberry wine. I was a teenager and experimented with fermentation. There is no more to say about that.
We had to pick numerous elderberries in early autumn and had to rub the small berries from the umbels. It was exhausting and lasted forever. In the end, we had a very small batch of elderberry juice. We fermented it in an open bucket covered only with a towel. Very country-style, but it worked! Very well.
We had to wait about three weeks and ended with a sweet berry wine. We used baker’s yeast and not wine yeast so the alcohol content was medium. We tasted it with parents and grandparents. Everybody got a small glass. Then it was all drunk up, no wine left. So much work, so long waiting only for a minute of joy and a sip of wine. I was disappointed. But I kept going. I fermented different fruits and over the years worked on to better equipment and bigger batches.
I served my homemade booze at family birthday parties and the aunts enjoyed the sweet raspberry wine the most. Years later I opened one bottle – it had aged very well. It tasted like dark sherry with a raspberry nose and it was delicious. I had been considering producing fruit wine commercially.After a long time, it had become clear that I should do it – at last – now!
I can combine the technical aspect of producing a bottle of wine with creativity and art. Winemaking is Art and Science. So is painting my labels. Yes — they are all painted by myself with watercolors. The names of the different wines were invented by myself. Winemaking involves much brainstorming and garnering of ideas.
Like the Hindberry logo. I own a miniature dog that looks like a small hind (deer). Hindberry is old English for raspberry. It is my best fruit wine. Raspberries are most often red, so the logo had to be red. The very short answer to a very long progress of finding the name and logo of my future brand.
The making of fruit wine is fun. Getting to taste and smell lots and lots of fresh fruits is a huge bonus. Fruits are nutritious, especially dark berries. I have always a thing for functional foods that are also healthy benefits because I’ve studied food science and biotechnology. I am also interested in herbs and spices. They can be used to prevent and cure illnesses. It is not technically correct to call them ‘medicine,’ yet they are surely beneficial when taken in the right concentrations. You always add them to your meal because they taste so good but there is also a health benefit for your body. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Concentration) values of berries such as aronia, elderberry, cranberry, and blueberry are more than double the ORAC of red wine. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed to call healthy but obviously fruit wines have higher ORAC values than red wines. It is definitely great news — yet one should never drink more than a small glass a day.
About the author: Blogger Michael is single and 35. He’s run a small batch fruit winery in Austria since Dec. 2016. It lies southeast of Pellendorf, Himberg, near Vienna and Schwechat Airport. He invites visitors to Austria/Vienna to visit for a Tasting. He enjoys cooking, reading, watching movies, painting, craft activities, and DIY because there is always something that has to be done. In addition, he loves gardening, such as growing vegetables, fruit trees, and grapes in the house garden 😉