Rowanberry Wine

Recipe file created November 22, 1999.
I am told these are known as Dogberries in Atlantic Canada.
Whatever the name, they are the fruit of the Mountain Ash tree. On their own, the berries are unpalatable, but attract many birds throughout the winter.


The best wines are made from scratch.
  • 16 cups rowanberries, picked after first frost
  • 8 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
  • 1 teaspoon acid blend
  • 1 campden tablet
  • 1 tea bag
  • 1 package wine yeast
  • 1 gallon water, boiling
  • Remove any spoiled berries. Remove all stems and wash berries. Crush the berries and place in primary fermentor. Add tea bag and boiling water. Let sit overnight.

    Add sugar, nutrients, acid blend, and crushed campden tablet. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Specific gravity should be between 1.090 and 1.095. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture and stir. Stir daily for three to five days, until specific gravity is 1.040.

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

    For a dry wine, rack in three weeks, and every three months for one year. 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.

    The wine is best if you can refrain from drinking it for one full year from the date it was started.


    I have been wanting to try tea in place of tannin for a while. The rowanberries smelled like they would go well with it, so I tried it here. If you do not want to experiment with the tea bag, use 1/8 teaspoon tannin instead.

    -- Rox

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