We have wild grapes! We have probably always had wild grapes and I just didn't know it. We have a large grapevine on our old TV antennae attached to the back of the house, but I have usually cut it down every year. Last year I left it alone, mostly due to a lack of time and energy to deal with it. (Last year was the "year of the dogs" and a lot of things got "left alone".)
This year I discovered grapes on it and the world of wild grapes opened up! It is covered with them, but there are even more growing and fruiting on a few back fence areas that I didn't know were there. At this time of year our back fence is unapproachable due to the goldenrod and blackberry bushes. With the hope of wild grapes in mind I blazed a path through the weeds to the fence and found several enormous vines filled with grapes!
Half are ready now and half still need to ripen another week or so. Next week on Monday morning I will go grape picking again. The grapes growing in sunny areas are all ripe now. It is the ones in the shade against the woods that need to ripen a bit longer.
The picture at the top is what I picked now. I will probably get at least half that again in another week! This is about 13 pounds of grapes. We weighed them at 11 pounds, then I found about 1/4 of a bucket more and added those. So I am estimating it at about 13 pounds. That's the minimum amount needed to make 5 gallons (23 litres) of wine. Since I know there are more coming next week, I am going to wait. I do have some older, extra large 6.5 gallon carbuoys that I can use for this and make even more wine. I will also make some wild grape jelly (recipe below) but we don't eat much of it so I won't be making a lot. Some wild grape jelly I will make in fancy jars and use for gifts.
We have truly been blessed with an abundance of wealth here on the land The Lord has given us! He continually amazes me with His gifts daily! There is just so much here in the way of herbs, fruits, mushrooms and wildcrafting abundance!
This is the rapsberry wine I just racked into the secondary fermenter yesterday! It's such a fabulous colour! I am collecting wine bottles and large, 100 bottle wine racks in the basement. When this summer's wine is all bottled, I will have 100's of bottles of wine aging!
What I like about the natural organic wines is that they still contain all the properties of the fruits and herbs, all the phytochemicals that make them so healthy.
Wild grape jelly recipe:
3 lbs wild grapes, stemmed
3 cups water
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 (85 ml) package liquid pectin
- In large saucepan, crush grapes with potato masher; pour in water and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until fruit is very soft.
- Transfer to jelly bag or colander lined with a double thickness of fine cheesecloth and let drip overnight.
- Measure juice (you should have 3 cups/750 ml) into a large heavy saucepan; stir in sugar.
- Bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
- Stir in pectin.
- Return to full boil and boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and skim off foam with a metal spoon.
- Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/8 inch headspace.