Sunday, October 11, 2009

Earthside Wild Grape Wine

You know those grapes I posted about last month? Well, they're on their way to becoming wine. Here's the story:


In early September we went back to Earthside to sample the grapes. Since many had already turned to raisins and others were on their way to waste, I decided it would be OK if we picked a bag or two of ripe grapes. We ate and picked. Don't know why, but "foraged food" always tastes especially good.


By the way, these are Wild Grapes, Vitis Girdiana also called Wild Desert Grapes or southern California Wild Grapes. They are native to southern California and grow in chapparal woodlands, streamside, or canyon bottoms. The grapes were used by the Cahuilla of southern California for wine and raisins.

Here's our bounty all washed and ready to be crushed, which I did by hand.

Straining the grape juice. Cleaning the buckets and straining the juice, you do that repeatedly.
After adding yeast, it was less than a day before the juice started to ferment. Then its just a matter of time, mixing the juice up, straining and re-straining the juice.

Here's the finished product -- Earthside Wild Grape Wine, Vintage 2009.

The whole process was fun and we learned a lot. There are certainly things we'll do different next time. Mainly, the recipe we used called for added water, which we won't do again. Meanwhile, figure we'll open the first bottle sometime early next summer.

13 comments:

Cafe Observer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cafe Observer said...

If the taste test turns up good next summer then I think you've found your calling.

altadenahiker said...

I just love this. In delicious memory of the ghosts of Earthside.

Petrea said...

This couldn't be more delightful. I hope it's a huge success.

I'm back online and there'll be one more Earthside post tomorrow. Thanks for alerting Karin to it, and in turn alerting me.

Michael Coppess said...

Thanks all. I'm planning a long toast when I uncork, I mean unscrew, the first wine bottle. Oh, and CO, I think I could stomach this as a new calling.

Bellis said...

Last of the Summer Wine. I wish I could taste it!

Bellis said...

You haven't posted anything since you made the wine. Is there a connection? :o)

Michael Coppess said...

Bellis: Thanks for the funny comment! Actually we haven't uncorked (I mean unscrewed)the wine bottles yet. I hope to get back to blogging soon.

Michael Coppess said...

Bottled the last of the wine today. Total of a little more than 3 gallons.

David Sneiders said...

How'd the uncorking & tasting go w/ the aged wild grape elixir?

Michael Coppess said...

Hi David: Thanks for following up. I'll post an update on the wine making adventure tomorrow. Good luck on your cuttings!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I have yet to go to this place (and I grew up in this area)....I'm going to have to keep the link for when I get time and also if I ever produce grapes that I can make wine from. You are so industrious...kudos

Michael Coppess said...

Thanks PA. the whole thing was great fun and I'm looking forward to repeating it this year. Hey, I hope you share any memories you may have of the Earthside site or the land under the wires that used to be a tree farm.