Rowan Berry Wine

2.25 kg rowan berries
1.2 kg finely granulated sugar
1 large lemon (zest and juice only) (or 2.5 tsp acid blend)
1/2 tbsp pectic enzyme
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 packet wine yeast (Montrachet is good with berry wines or a Sherry yeast)
5 litres filtered boiling water

Nylon jelly bag or cheesecloth or muslin for straining
Plastic ‘fermenting’ bucket and lid
Hydrometer (optional)
2 x 5l demijohns or glass bottles
2 x fermentation locks and bungs
Clear 1.5cm diameter plastic tubing
6-7 x 750ml wine bottles
6-7 x corks
Campden tablets for sterilising the equipment.

This should make about 7 x 750ml bottles of wine.


Pick your ripe berries in late Autumn (ideally after a frost). Remove the stems and any rotten berries. Wash them and crush them into a large plastic bucket. Boil the water and dissolve the sugar into it, then add while still as hot as possible to the fruit in the bucket. Mash roughly with a sterilised potato masher then add the lemon juice and zest and allow to cool to room temperature between 12 and 18°C. Add the pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient and allow to sit in a warm spot for 12 hours.

Add the wine yeast (dissolved in 500ml boiled water also between 12 and 18°C) and wait for the fermentation to start frothing and bubbling. Stir daily for a week or until specific gravity reaches 1.040 (3-5 days).

DAY 5 – 7
Filter the liquid off into a demijohn. If it is not full, add filtered, boiled water to reach the top. Add a sterilised bung and fermentation lock and allow to ferment undisturbed.

After 4-6 weeks or when specific gravity reaches 1.000, siphon off the wine leaving the sediment behind, into a second demijohn. Top up with cooled pre-boiled water. Add a sterilised bung and fermentation lock.

After 3-4 months, siphon off the clear liquid into a third demijohn, add a sterilised bung and fermentation lock.

Once the wine is clear, approximately a month later, it is ready for bottling. Soak 7 corks for 24 hours in cool, boiled water. Then soak them for a further half an hour in a sulphite solution (30g in 1.5l of water) to sterilise them. Siphon off the wine into sterilised bottles leaving a space twice the length of the cork. Then cork.

Leave the bottles of rowan berry wine in a cool, dry, dark place for a year before drinking. If you can!


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