Homemade / Home Grown Nectarine Wine
Wine making is the process of taking fruit, typically grapes, and preparing them for yeast to convert the sugars into alcohol. There are all kinds of processes for this - to make more rustic or finished wines, to use all kinds of ingredients or fruits for different varieties, amount of fermentation to bring out more or less sweetness.
The general part is consistent though. Yeast + sugar + fermentation time = alcohol.
Part of our "edible landscaping" throughout the yard and landscaping includes fruit. Many of our fruit trees are newer and don't produce much, if any, fruit just yet. Masy fruit trees take a handful of years to mature before really setting out much fruit at all. When we moved to this home 2 and a half years ago we brought some with us, including two nectarine trees and two grape vines. The nectarines are part of a line of fruit trees that line a walkway in the back and the grapes are trellised on a fence up front we share with our neighbor. Both are mature enough to really be producing.
While some of the nectarines are in great shape, some were victims of attack from small worms that like to eat them - and after their attack sugars can ooze out which then attract ants. While these fruits are still quite edible, they will tend to over ripen and spoil faster. As fruits ripen further, though, their sugar content grows...PERFECT FOR WINE MAKING!
This year will be our first experiment making wine, and we'll be making it with both the nectarines (which are ripe now) and the grapes (which will ripen later in the season.
To prepare the nectarines for fermentation we'll remove the "stones" or pits in the center, crush the fruit, and pour over boiling water. We'll add sugar, yeast, yeast nutrients, lemon juice, pectin to the mix. The liquids are then strained and added to a fermentation container. Gases from the yeast activity have to be released (primarily carbon dioxide) so the container can't be airtight but can't let air in.
We are following this recipe less the added tea: http://www.wine-making-guides.com/nectarine_wine.html
I can't wait to see what the end product is - we'll definitely be enjoying the wine under the trees that provided the fruit!