|Posted on November 30, 2010 at 12:07 AM|
It hit me while walking to the winery yesterday, when I nibbled a neighbor's frozen apple. Immediately I knew I was going to pick them. Two months ago they were bitter and too acidic. Now they are incredibly sweet with just the right amount of sourness. The tree is loaded, and the deer have been enjoying the 1" apples around the bottom. But now we'll get out the ladders, and pick them for apple ice wine.
LOCAL FOLKS: help us out here! If you have large (at least 1 inch) frozen crabs or apples still hanging on the tree, or apples that froze in your garage, give us a call and we'll add them to our experiment! 853-1028 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The internet again proves to be the incredible information tool, and soon I know just how I'm going to do this— pick them frozen, run them through our apple shredder to reduce them to very coarse apple meal, then press them while they are still mostly frozen. The juice, which will test out at approx 14% sugar, will be frozen in 5 gallon buckets. When they are solid, we'll bring them inside, punch a half dozen holes in the bottom with 7 penny nails, and set them on a couple of wooden rails over another bucket, until just about half of the nectar has drained, leaving mostly flavorless ice behind, and a highly concentrated apple syrup of approx 30% sugar.
Next, the syrup will be fermented as coldly as we can, stopping when we have somewhere around 12% alcohol and 4-5% sugar. There won't be much, it'll be expensive like all ice wines, but oh, it will be wonderful!
The rose hip recipe has been approved and our trial batch should finish fermenting in another week. The flavor is....strawberry, banana, passion fruit. The 20 gallons of European black currant wine is also nearing the end of ferment and tasting oh, so good! Our elderberry wine is now available, both dry and semi-sweet. And finally our riesling— Montana's only riesling made from grapes grown in Montana— is also for sale. Just 30 bottles, and already 25% gone in just a couple of days. Alas, the rhubarb sold out, but we've got two more batches in the works. But the arancione is gone until next fall, when we'll have a lot more of it....:(
Totally Montanan is our motto— grown here, produced here, bottled here. If it didn't grow in Montana, we won't bottle it, because we're proud of what we have to offer. Our wine is different than what you get in California. Different. Not inferior, not second class, not ho-hum. Just ask our satisfied rhubarb wine customers!
Happy responsible wine drinking to you all!
Categories: TRYING NEW IDEAS