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Austin Dewberries

"It tastes as good as it looks!"

The dewberry is a close relative of the blackberry, and like the blackberry, the dewberry makes a very tasty, though slightly mellower, wine. Dewberries grow wild throughout Texas, but the "Austin" dewberry is an improved variety that offers larger and more plentiful fruit than the wild natives. Cane for cane, blackberries outproduce dewberries, but a decent bramble of the latter will produce enough fruit for a gallon of good wine. In the alkaline soils of the south central Texas Hill Country, yields will be even less fruitful, so if you can't find a large enough brake of the canes to produce a gallon of wine, you can make up the difference with blackberries, but the taste will not be true.

Dewberry wine, like blackberry and beet wine, has a deep rich color, but the color bleaches rapidly in light. For that reason, the must should be fermented in dark glass or clear glass wrapped in heavy brown butcher paper. When bottled, age and store it in a dark place. I age and store my wine in cardboard wine cases my local liquor store saves for me, so my colors always remain fresh and pure. I have a brake of Austin dewberries planted along a fence and have a gallon in secondary fermentation right now.


Pick fully ripe, best quality berries. Wash thoroughly and place in nylon sieve. Mash and squeeze out all the juice into a primary fermentation vessel. Tie sieve and place in primary fermentation vessel with all ingredients except yeast. Stir well to dissolve sugar, cover well, and set aside for 24 hours. Add yeast, cover, and set aside 5 days, stirring daily. Strain juice from sieve and siphon off sediments into secondary fermentation vessel of dark glass (or wrap clear glass with brown paper), adding water to bring to shoulder, and fit airlock. Place in cool (60-65 degrees F.) dark place for three weeks. Rack, allow another two months to finish, then rack again and bottle in dark glass. Allow a year to mature to a nice semi-sec. [Author's own recipe]

Last update was November 2nd, 2000.

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