Using the Garden and the Orchard to make Wine

Using the Garden and the Orchard to make Wine

hermitWhat’s the most important thing when it comes to making great wine? Great grapes, right? Well, maybe we should switch that to “great fruit.” A winery in Meredith, New Hampshire, Hermit Woods, is producing wines from blueberries, kiwis, apples, crabapples, peaches, quinces, elderberries, black currants, and...tomatoes? Hey, botanically, tomatoes are a fruit.

If you’re assuming these wines are extremely sweet, not so fast. Says winemaker Ken Hardcastle, “I ferment fruit wines into complex, dry, hopefully quite engaging wines that are not the same as vinifera [ Main species of grapes used for winemaking] wines for sure. But I’m striving to achieve things that are comparable in depth and character.”

Though off-dry wines are also made at Hermit Woods, Hardcastle explains the natural fruit sugar is there mainly to balance the natural acidity in apples and other fruits.

Looking for a food and fruit wine pairing? Hardcastle loves seafood like lobster with his apple wine. And he suggests trying his oak-aged blueberry wine with anything you’d enjoy with a pinot noir, like wild game.

What’s your experience with fruit wines beyond those made from grapes? Are you ready to branch out to these kinds of wines if the quality and flavor are there? Let us know below.

Photo Credit: Hermit Woods Winery

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