Nothing-But-Blackberry Wine

Recipe file created August 27, 2001.
Adrian van Leest of Australia passed this recipe on to me. He has been making wines successfully for years using no water to dilute his juice.

Adrian says: "At first the wine is quite harsh and raw, but after 12 months the fruit starts to integrate and win the battle over the tannins and acid, and after two years it is simply heavenly. More sugar can, of course, be used according to taste. I prefer it dry like a genuine red wine."


The best wines are made from scratch.
  • 7 kg blackberries, fresh (15 pounds)
  • 1 kg granulated sugar (4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
  • 2 campden tablet
  • 1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme (pectinol)
  • 1 package wine yeast

Do not use overripe or spoiled berries. Crush the berries and place in primary fermentor. Add sugar, pectic enzyme and crushed campden tablets (use 1 tablet per 5 kg of fruit). Stir well to dissolve sugar. Activate a batch of yeast (In a clean jar, put 1/2 to 1 cup water or orange juice and 1 teaspoon sugar. Add 1 pkg yeast. Cover tightly and shake well. Loosen top to allow CO2 to escape.) Let sit 24 hours.

Add yeast starter to berries. Stir well. Cover loosely and stir several times per day for 4 days. This is necessary because the juice separates from the solids, creating a very think crust on top of the wine. This crust must be broken to allow the CO2 to escape.

Strain the must and squeeze out as much juice as you can from the fruit. Siphon into secondary fermentor and attach airlock.

For a dry wine, rack in three weeks, and again in 4 weeks. Continue racking every month until wine is clear. Bottle.

For a sweeter 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 month until wine is clear. Bottle.

This wine is best if you can refrain from drinking it for two full years from the date it was started.


Because this recipe requires more time to age, it is a good idea to make more than one gallon. It is a real tragedy to have only one bottle of wine left when it reaches its peak.

-- Rox

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