Living in the UK, I’m prone to a mixed bag of weather. Certainly not the warm and sunny climates that my bottles from Italy and France have enjoyed! Still, it seems that more and more Brits are making their own wine. It seems even the Romans were able to make good use of the little sunshine we do get each year. There is a lot of equipment needed, but it could be good fun to try it out!
Grape vines are surprisingly easy to grow. Plant them next to a wall, and use some supporting string or trellis to help keep them upright. You need more width than height as they like to spread out. Of course, finding space for enough vines to provide adequate quantities of grapes might be tricky in the city! You need to harvest about six kilograms of fruit to press for wine.
Once you have your fruit, and you have pressed it, you are still a few weeks away from enjoying a nice drink. Fermentation and clearing take a little while. You may want to wait up to a year before enjoying the wine. But for many trying this out for the first time, you’ll probably want a glass as soon as possible. There are no guarantees it will taste as good as you hope, but for a bit of fun it could be worth a go!
Of course, there are many other fruits you can use for drinks, jams and cooking. If you visit a website like http://www.pomonafruits.co.uk/, you may be quite surprised to see just how many different types of fruit you can grow. Most fruits can be grown in pots or hanging baskets. This means less back breaking digging and more munching on yummy crops of fresh fruit. Fruit trees have always interested me. Finding out just how many species of fruit trees I could choose from has got me thinking about it even more.
If you’ve never grown fruit before, you might want to start with strawberry plants. They are incredibly easy to grow and can be planted almost anywhere. If you don’t fancy getting down on your knees in the dirt, you could plant them in hanging baskets and let the fruit and leaves cascade down. Raised flower beds can be really good for fruit or vegetable growing too. If you’ve only got a little terrace or courtyard, why not try planting in some decorative pots to brighten up the area?
It is possible to make homemade wine with almost any kind of berry. You must keep everything the wine touches sterile to avoid illness. One recipe from the internet calls for sixteen cups of fruit, two cups of honey, one packet of yeast and filtered water. Sounds simple. Of course, the fermentation of the fruits takes a bit of effort. And the waiting… I could open up a lot of shop bought bottles of wine in that time! Still, for a bit of fun, and to make something of homegrown fruit crops, it could still be worth a try.