Blueberry Country Wine

by Janet Dale

“Mother was always intrigued by the mystique and rich culture that surrounds the making and serving of wine… especially the simple country wines like her Grandma Anderson used to make from local, often wild, fruits. They were prepared in a country kitchen, carefully aged in the cellar, and brought out to enhance and make memorable family gatherings and special occasions with friends. In 1976, when Mom retired to a cottage in the woods on our farm near Bayfield, the abundant fruit that surrounded her home rekindled the interest and she determined to learn and master the craft of wine making. For nearly 30 years, Mom fermented everything from chokecherries to honey. I will tell you (because she never would) that she got pretty good at it. It became a special joy for her… from the gathering of the fruits to the sharing of the finished product. Blueberry wine was one of her favorites.”
Rick Dale of Highland Valley Farm


8 quarts blueberries
1 five gallon non-metallic container
2 gallons water
5 pounds sugar
1/2 oz. yeast (2 packages)

1) Wash berries

2) Put water into an enamel pot and bring to a boil. Let water boil for a few minutes and then pour over berries. Cover and let stand for 24 hours, mashing the berries a few times.

3) Strain the juice into an enamel, glass, or plastic container, pressing the berries through a cloth until every drop of juice is out.

4) Clean the crock or container and pour the juice back into it.

5) Add sugar and dissolve it thoroughly. Heat the liquid to lukewarm.

6) Dissolve the yeast into 1/2 cup of warm water and pour it into the crock over the juice. Cover and let stand in warm place (65-70F) to ferment. This will take from 10 to 21 days.

7) When fermentation has ceased: strain, clear, and fine. Put wine into one gallon glass jars to settle for the fining (clearing process) for about 10 days-two weeks.

8) When it is a shining bright red color: siphon into bottles and cork. Age at least one year before drinking.