Cherry Wine

Recipe file created May 9, 2001.
I moved to a temperate zone (from the far north of Canada)
last summer. This will be the first year I have fresh cherries at my disposal.
Here is the recipe I will be trying.


The best wines are made from scratch.
  • 6 pounds cherries
  • 1 pound raisins
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 campden tablets
  • 1 teaspoon nutrients
  • 3/4 teaspoon pectic enzyme
  • 1 large orange (juice only)
  • 1 package wine yeast
  • water
  • Method 1

    Crush cherries. The goal here is the break the skin of every fruit to help the juice leach into the water, but not to damage the stones. Place them in the primary fermentor. Add enough cold water to cover. Stir in crushed campden tablets and pectic enzyme. Let sit for 2 days.

    Strain fruit, squeezing out as much juice as possible. Add the balance of the ingredients (except yeast) and make up to 1 gallon with water. Check the specific gravity. It should be between 1.090 and 1.110. Add yeast and mix in well. Cover primary fermentor. Stir daily for three to five days, until frothing ceases.

    Put into secondary fermentor and attach airlock. Finish as for dry wine or sweet wine below.

    Method 2

    Remove pits from the cherries, being careful not to damage the stones. Place fruit in a large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover. Simmer over low heat (or in a double boiler) for 1 hour. DO NOT let it boil dry.

    Strain the pulp out of the juice. Mix the pulp with some hot water and strain it again.

    In primary fermentor, combine sugar, orange juice, campden tablets, nutrients and warm juice. Cool to 85'F (30'C). Add pectic enzyme. Let sit overnight.

    Add water to make up to one gallon. Add wine yeast. Cover and stir daily for two days. Siphon into secondary fermentor and attach airlock. Finish as for dry wine or sweet wine below.


    For a dry wine, Rack in three weeks and return to secondary fermentor. Rack again in three months, and every three months until 1 year old. Bottle.

    For a sweet wine, rack at three weeks. Add 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup wine. Stir gently, and place back into secondary fermentor. Repeat process every six weeks until fermentation does not restart with the addition of sugar. Rack every three months until one year old. Bottle.

    Ths wine is best if you can refrain from drinking it for a year and a half from the date it was started.


    I have two varieties of cherry growing in my backyard. Big, sweet Black Cherries, and a much smaller, yellow with red blush cherry. Both are pleasant for eating. Varieties may be combined in one batch of wine, or separate batches made for each variety. I have not yet decided which way to go. Since the trees are still in bloom, I have time to decide.

    -- Rox

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