Saturday, October 16, 2010

Winemaking Workshop

We had an amazing afternoon - glorious warm sun, and an outdoor home winemaking workshop on our patio which included loads of sampling homemade wines and local cheeses (rhubarb wine, various homemade grape wines, and homemade hard apple cider)...

Our faciliatator walked us through all the stages of winemaking - starting with ultra fresh Ontario Concord grapes (picked yesterday and bought this morning at our local farmers market!), pressing into the sweetest most refreshing juice you've ever tasted, then straining and pressing the pulp, siphoning into carboys, racking, sterlizing bottles (using a bottle rack), testing for acidity, specific gravity, alcohol/sugar level, and corking.  Although there is a lot of equipment involved, I think most participants came away with the winemaking process being demystified -  how wrong can you go by letting fruit ferment, as people have been doing for centuries (ok, you can end up with fruit vinegars, or wine that is not palatable, but really this is an age old process that can be achieved in a few simple steps).   A great resource book:  The Joy of Home Winemaking by Terry Garrey.

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