Wines from Tree Fruits and Berries
Wines are produced from grapes. But wines, fruitwines, can be made from Tree fruits & Berries too. What makes fruitwinemaking difficult is the lack of sugars and excess of acids in the fruits and most fruits can’t be pressed like grapes and need to be processed beforehand.
For centuries a mixture of fruits, grapes, grains and honey were sufficient to make alcoholic beverages. But the alcohol content might not be very high. In the later 1800 century the production of sugar from sugar beets and cane sugar became industrial. The usage of sugar to boost the alcohol content of juices, grapes or fruits, might have been possible.
Some minor piquettes were made to increase the output from grapes and to offer cheap „wine“ for workers in the vinyards. The pomace was mixed with water, sugar and acids, if available, and a second run was possible after a few hours or a day of extraction. This piquette lacked the quality of the main product but was a sufficient substitute for the poor. But some claim that the difference was not that significant and it was possible to make good wine from pomace as well as raisins and other ingredients.
Wine laws followed and tried to prevent that manipulationin in early 1900. Nowadays it’s not allowed to produce second run wines commercially or mix second run with first run. Fruitwines must contain a minimum of sugar free extract from the fruit source to prevent excessive dilution with water. The addition of water to grapes is strictly forbidden. But in the USA and other countries they allow up to 30% of jesus units to reduce the high sugar content of grapes be get back into a normal range.
Selected yeast became also available in the 1900 and 2000 century. So it was possible to make quality wines. There are wild yeasts on grapes as well as Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. The must always started fermenting but it was not always the right strain the winner of the competion of different microorganisms and the time factor played a big role in microorganism growth. Inoculating the must with selected yeasts in the right amount was a sure way to start fermentation and to bring it to the desired end.
Fruitwines are way harder to make than grape wines. You don’t have the right kind of yeast on the fruits. At least you can ferment apple wines with wild Appiculatus yeast but all other fruitwines will most likely spoil. The Usage of selected yeast is inevitable. To make fruitwines you need sugar + yeast and sometimes acids. Without these it’s impossible to make fruitdessertwines.
To make Fruitdessertwines you need highly alcohol tolerant yeast strains and lots of sugar. These products don’t exist in nature. We’ve learned about Cider, Pulque, Beer, Kvass, Grains and Grasses, Sake, Tree sap like Birch or Palm wine and even vegetables and roots, nuts and also milk. Naturally a wild fermenting alcoholic beverage doesn’t contain more than 5%Vol., some contain only 1-3%Vol.
Grapes may contain 10-14%Vol. but seldom more and there are only a few fruits which have a sugar content sufficient to make a beverage with around 10%Vol. alcohol. You might consider Plums or Pineapples but the list is very short. The only fruit that is naturally predestinated to make wine is the grape. And the wine may develope without any human support, just pressing the juice and waiting is necessary and a more or less sealed amphora. That’s all. Voila! In most cases you get a well-balanced wine ready to drink if the grapes were fully ripe at harvest. The grape’s ripeness alone determines the final product.
So you may call fruitwines man-made or artificially made. They combine art and science. Because you need a source of sugar and yeast and you have to adjust the juice to your desire. The addition of water is often necessary to reduce the excessive acid. You have to know the whole process from beginning to the final product.
Short Overview: Fruitwines are not that uncommon as you might think – you can find them around the globe!
Grapes – Wine (as well as Grappa, Marc, Cognac)
Apples (France, England, USA) Cider, Cidre, österr. „Most“
Pear (England, USA) Perry
Cherry/sour Cherry (Dänemark, Schweden) Fruitdessertwine/Liqueur
Strawberry-, Raspberry-, Blueberry-, Blackberry-, Elderberrywine (USA, EU)
Cassis, Currantwine (Slovakia)
Banana (Africa, Teneriffa Spain)
Kiwi (New zealand)
Pineapple (Hawaii, Thailand, Japan)
Pomegranate (Israel, Armenia)
and miscellaneous other Fruits as well as tropical fruitslike the Jaboticaba
Want to know more? Read my Series „With Hindberry Fruchtwein around the World“
There are very different sources for alcoholic beverages
Short overview about my blog posts
Tree and plant saps