Have you ever been seduced by the idea of brewing your own wine? You are not alone.
Healthy Country Life is offering an even easy way to make wine by providing crushed and pressed grapes for you to take away and ferment at home. The wine making process will be explained in detail and guidelines at a free upcoming workshop.
Participants will have the opportunity to see industrial equipment used for large scale crushing and pressing of grapes and also be advised on how to do it on a smaller scale at home when they don't have sophisticated equipment.
The workshop will be held on Saturday, March 19.
Sign up at healthycountrylife.com to join their free workshop, Make Wine The Natural Way which will be held at Contadino Farm at Falls Creek, located 20 minutes south of Nowra.
The workshop is free but participants will have to pay for the crushed and pressed grapes they take away in containers. They may bring their own container or purchase one at the workshop.
Brewing methods taught are simple and healthy because there is no added yeast, preservatives or other additives. Many people who are allergic to wine have found out that it is not the alcohol or wine they are allergic to but rather the additives and preservatives in the wine.
Quality wine is judged by labels, regions, bouquet and taste associated with that label.
The result of this is so much control has gone into wine-making to ensure the unique taste of a well-known brand remains the same from bottle to bottle to bottle.
Controlled fermentation is needed in commercial winemaking to attain a consistent result so that every bottle of wine will taste the same. To achieve this the commercial wine industry is known to use at least 19 additives and 37 different processing aids which include sulphur dioxide, potassium metabisulphite, egg and milk products, gelatin (a meat product), commercial yeast and other food chemicals.
"Labels on a bottle of wine tell you very little of what you want to know about the winemaking process or the additives," Shoba Sadler of Healthy Country Life said.
"That's fine. Many people like a certain taste of a particular brand and want to be reassured they will get that taste when they buy that brand. There is surely a place and a market for commercial wine.
"But as part of Healthy Country Life's commitment to farm fresh food and educating people on the health benefits of fermented foods, we have organised this workshop.
"Almost every home-brewing kit has commercial yeast and additives such as Campden tablets or potassium metabisulphite. Also with a home-brewing kit you will still need to press and crush your own grapes. At this workshop we do it for you."
Maria and Bruno Morabito, owners of Contadino Farm will be hosting the workshop and providing the grapes.
As an Italian family drinking wine is very much a part of their culture. However, Bruno is allergic to commercial wine due to the additives and preservatives in them so they acquired another farm at Berri, SA, just to grow their own Mourvedre grapes.
Winemaking is a yearly ritual for them when the grapes are ripe to harvest.
They don't sell their wine but are happy to share their knowledge on how to make wine without preservatives and additives as they have been doing it for 38 years for the family.
"There is no need to add yeast and sugar to the the grape juice. The grape juice ferments on its own from the wild yeast and sugars naturally found in the grapes," Maria said.
"This is why it is crucial to pick the grapes at the precise time when the sugar is at the most appropriate level.”
“When we reach harvest time we will take samples of the sugar several times over different days to check sugar levels at the laboratory. When we get the most suitable reading we harvest immediately."
Participants can register free for the one day workshop by filling out a form at healthycountrylife.com.