Do you like wine?
Drinking wine during meals is an ancient tradition for European families. More than a pleasure, it is a habit that represents union and enjoying time together.
Today is Saturday, an excellent day for familiar meetings and to talk about wine.
Far away from technical expertise, this blog intends to speak a little of everything, the recent discoveries I have made and especially to arouse your curiosity. This blog has no advertising nor commercial purposes.
If you enjoy wine, I have already caught your attention, but what is a fruit wine, also known as country wine?
Fruit wines are fermented alcoholic beverages made from a variety of base ingredients (other than grapes), they may also have additional flavors taken from fruits, flowers and herbs. They have traditionally been popular with home winemakers and in areas with cool climates. Fruit wines are usually referred to by their main ingredient (e.g., apple wine or raspberry wine). ¹
Fruit wines can be made from virtually any plant matter that can be fermented. Most fruits and berries have the potential to produce wine. Few foods other than grapes have the balanced quantities of sugar, acid, tannin, nutritive salts for yeast feeding and water to naturally produce a stable, drinkable wine, so most country wines are adjusted in one or more respects at fermentation. However, some of these products do require the addition of sugar or honey to make them palatable and to increase the alcoholic content (sugar is converted to alcohol in the fermentation).¹
In addition to the array of fresh, fruity flavors these new vinos offer, there’s also a health benefit: Each variety comes with its own unique blend of disease-fighting chemicals. “Fermentation may improve the health benefits of fruit,” says Elvira de Mejia, PhD, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois. “When the sugars are removed by fermentation, some key chemicals, like anthocyanins, become more powerful.” – says Laura Tedesco. ²
Fruit wines are gaining ground among young consumers, but also for traditional ones they are a revelation, showing mostly that while sweet they also can carry enough revitalizing acidity to keep them light and refreshing rather than sticky, weighty and tiring. Mostly they were impressive for how faithfully they tasted of black currants, raspberries and the like. ³
Fruit wines are becoming more and more noticed by established wine writers and critics as well.
High Cup Wines
As a living and sustainable example, today we are going to talk about a recent and interesting find which comes from the beautiful farming areas of North Pennines, UK.
“High Cup Wines are produced at Townhead Farm and Winery, Cumbria’s only commercial vineyard and winery, which prepares a range of fruit wines from fruit grown on the farm and in the local area. Farm enjoys outstanding views of the Lakeland Fells across the valley of the River Eden.” ³
The farm and winery are managed by the friendly couple Ron and Angela Barker. A project which was partly funded by DEFRA enables wines to be produced commercially since 2007. A range of country wines are produced from fruit grown mainly on the farm. In good sunny years grape wines are also produced from their own vineyard.
Being a great appreciator of fruit wines, I got amazed with the variety:
Gooseberry, Blackcurrant, Elderflower & Apple, Rhubarb, Raspberry, Elderberry, Damson, Apple, Spiced Beetroot (this one not fruity, but also very interesting).
A video concerning the production and appreciation.
Please, consult the site http://www.highcupwines.co.uk/site/ for further information about High Cup Wines.
Many other talented home winemakers are also pioneering this new market demand. If you got interested, a wide source of information, valuable articles on fruit wines, and some items available in your market area can be also found in http://www.dailyfruitwine.com/.
It is time to venture into a whole new world of non-traditional wines. I am pretty sure you will enjoy.