"I came across two people (or wine making wanna be's) talking about wine making and one of them said wine can be made from sunflower petals ( the sunflower alone).... If so, can you give me a recipe for sunflower wine...?" Johnathan Jones, Jacksonville, Florida
The common sunflower Helianthus annuus is found in fields all across the United States, Canada, and most of the landmasses of the northern hemisphere. It is a member of the Composite Family, which contains as many as 19,000 species worldwide. There are about 60 native species of sunflower in America, plus many that were imported and escaped to the wild.
The sunflower actually produces a composite blossom containing two types of flowers. The central disk of soft brownish matter contains the actual flowers -- those that produce seeds -- while large petals surround the disk and attract insects. Wine is made from the petals only and the method is similar to making wine from dandelions or many other flowers.
Pick sunlower petals and wash. Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, prepare zest from citrus and set aside. Combine flower petals and zest in nylon straining bag and tie closed. Put bag in primary and pour boiling water over it. Cover primary and squeeze bag several times a day for 3 days. Drain and squeeze bag to extract all liquid. Pour liquid into primary and stir in sugar until completely dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients except yeast, cover and set aside 10-12 hours. Add activated yeast and cover. Stir twice daily for 5 days. Transfer to secondary and fit airlock. Rack after wine falls clear, add crushed Campden tablet, top up, and reattach airlock. Rack again every 2 months for 6 months, adding another crushed Campden tablet during middle racking and stabilizing at last racking. Wait another month and rack into bottles. Cellar 12 months and enjoy. [Author's own recipe]
In primary, combine all ingredients except sunflower petals and yeast. Stir well to completey dissolve sugar. Cover primary and set aside 10-12 hours. Add activated yeast and recover primary. Stir twice daily until violent fermentation subsides. Pick flower petals and wash them. Put petals in nylon straining bag with 1 dozen sterilized glass marbles for weight. Tie bag and submerge in liquid in primary. Gently squeeze and dunk bag several times a day for 5 days. Drain bag, squeezing to extract flavor and transfer liquid to secondary. Fit airlock and rack after 2 weeks, topping up and refitting airlock afterward. After wine falls clear, wait 2 weeks and rack after adding 1 crushed Campden tablet to clean secondary. Thereafter, rack every 2 months for 6 months, adding another crushed Campden tablet every other racking and stabilizing at last racking. Wait another month and rack into bottles. Age for 6-12 months. [Author's own recipe]
My thanks to Johnathan Jones of Jacksonville, Florida for his request.