"Do you have a recipe for Oregon Grape
wine?" Julie Bryant, British Columbia
Oregon grapes are not grapes at all, but are an evergreen shrub (Mahonia aquifolium) growing in northwestern North America. They have fragrant yellow flowers that produce small, edible, bluish berries. They are low in natural sugar and high in acid, so do not add more acid that stated in the recipe below. This wine is good dry or sweet.
To avoid bitterness from the seeds, run the berries through a food mill. Put pulp and juice in primary with sugar, yeast nutrient, yeast energizer, acid blend, crushed Campden tablets, and water to bring total to 6 gallons. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Cover and set aside 12 hours. Add pectic enzyne, stir, recover, and set aside another 12 hours. Initial s.g. should be 1.090. Add activated yeast. Stir twice daily until s.g. drops to 1.030 (1-2 weeks). Strain through nylon straining bag, transfer liquid to secondary and fit airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock after 30 days. Repeat every 60 days for six months. If wine does not clear on its own, fine with Bentonite. Stabilize with potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate and sweeten to taste if desired. Wait 10 days and rack into bottles. Age six months before tasting. Improves with age. [Adapted from recipe by William R. Spiller of Canada]
My thanks to Julie Bryant for this request and William Spiller for the recipe.