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Requested Recipe:

MADRONE BERRY WINE


"From internet searches, I notice that wine can be made
from European Arbutus species. Has anyone tried the Pacific
Madrone (Arbutus menziesii)?"
Paul Hosten, Southern Oregon




MADRONE BERRIES


The Arbutus unedo, or strawberry tree, is a native of Europe and is widely planted throughout the world as an ornamental. Its fruit are eaten raw and often made into jellies, jams and alcoholic beverages--both wines and distilled liquors. Its North American cousins can be eaten when ripe but are inferior in sweetness and flavor to the European species and are rather astringent. They are much better when cooked. The small red berries of the Arizona Madrone (Arbutus arizonica), Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii) and Texas Madrone (Arbutus xalapensis) can be boiled, stewed or dried for later use. The recipes below make wine from both fresh and dried berries. These wines will improve with additional aging.


MADRONE BERRY WINE (1)

Wash and cull through berries, rejecting any that are not ripe and discarding stems. Put 2 qts water on to boil. Meanwhile, chop raisins and set aside. Wash orange, prepare zest, remove remaining skin, and slice thinly. Set aside orange zest and slices. Add sugar to boiling water and stir well to dissolve. Add berries, return to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir zest into berries. Set aside to cool. When cool, hold nylon straining bag over primary and pour berries into bag. Add sliced orange and chopped raisins. Tie bag and leave in primary. Add additional 3 pints water, yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme. Stir well and cover primary. After 12 hours, add activated yeast. Recover primary and gently squeeze bag twice a day during vigorous fermentation. When fermentation settles down, hang bag to drip drain over bowl, transfer liquid to secondary and fit airlock. Gently squeeze bag to coax additional liquid, but not too firmly. Add drained liquid to secondary, top up if required and refit airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock every 30 days until wine clears. Set in dark place 4 months, checking airlock periodically for seal. Rack, stabilize and sweeten to taste if desired. Set aside additional 14 days while checking for any signs of refermentation. If none, carefully rack into bottles and store in dark place additional 6 months. [Author's own recipe]


MADRONE BERRY WINE (2)

Put 1 qt water on to boil. Meanwhile, chop raisins and set aside. Prepare zest of orange and add to raisins. Wash and cull through berries, discarding stems. Put berries, raisins and zest in primary, add boiling water and cover. Bring another quart water to boil, stir in sugar and juice from orange and stir well to dissolve. Add boiling sugar-water to primary and recover. When cool, add additional 3 pints water, yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme. Stir well and recover primary. After 12 hours, add activated yeast. Recover primary and stir twice daily during vigorous fermentation. When fermentation quiets, pour through nylon straining bag into secondary, squeezing bag well. Fit airlock and set aside. Rack, top up and refit airlock every 30 days until wine clears. Set in dark place 4 months, checking airlock periodically for seal. Rack, stabilize and sweeten to taste if desired. Set aside additional 14 days while checking for any signs of refermentation. If none, carefully rack into bottles and store in dark place additional 6 months. [Author's own recipe]


My thanks to Paul Hosten of Southern Oregon for requesting this recipe.


This page was updated on September 25th, 2000

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