Cheenius’ adventures in homemade wine

More educational fun from Cheenius! Thanks, Cheenius!

What if you could make your own wine???

Well, Cheenius can’t. Or at least the initial attempt was slightly flawed. But, while it was nothing you’d want to force on anyone, Cheenius’ blackberry wine was actually drinkable, and talk about local! Check it out:

Cheenius had been scoping out a nearby empty lot with lots of brambles for some time. Last July she happily trespassed once the blackberries were ripe, and within an hour had a huge bucketful. These wild berries weren’t the tastiest, but Cheenius figured they had enough sugar to make alcohol and make her trespassing worthwhile.

The recipe was easy:

  1. Smash up berries
  2. Let them sit
  3. Add water, wine yeast and sugar
  4. After four days, strain with cheesecloth

straining the wine  becoming wine

Six months later you have something that tastes alcoholic, and with a teaspoon more of sugar to your glass, isn’t too much of a chore to drink. Rousing endorsement, for sure.

blackberry wine

OK, maybe you’re thinking this particular experiment wasn’t a success… and yet, Cheenius MADE ALCOHOL from scratch. That’s like playing God, people.

Local apples and grape juice

Today’s breakfast was courtesy of Uncle Jim, who brought apples from Catoctin Mountain Orchard to a family gathering last week. So delicious; they didn’t even need the sprinkling of cinnamon I gave them.

Later in the afternoon, Mr. HP, Mr. Cheenius, and I (poor Cheenius wasn’t feeling well) visited some of our wonderful local vineyards. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful, bountiful area.

First stop: Flying Fox Vineyard, where we learned about the new Nelson 151 Trail, home to 7 wineries and 2 breweries.

Some very fancy people were chauffeured to Flying Fox to taste wines. We were not those fancy people.

Cadillac at Flying Fox Vineyard

We stopped at Cardinal Point Winery, home to possibly our favorite local wines, and finished the day enjoying the fabulous views at King Family Vineyards.

King Family Vineyards

It was a lovely afternoon! Missed you, Cheenius!

Blenheim Vineyards

Today we spent the afternoon enjoying local wines at Blenheim Vineyards. The weather was a little sprinkly, but we sat for a bit on the deck before moving inside.

Blenheim wine

Mr. HP did some reading up for the Meet Yer Eats farm tour tomorrow! We plan to visit Ted’s Last Stand in Louisa, Forrest Green Farm also in Louisa, and Brightwood Farm in Madison.

Blenheim Vineyards

I was pleased to see this ad at the vineyard for local happy beef coming soon:

Best of What's Around Beef

It was a lovely outing!

Local Secrets from Relay Foods

While placing my usual order from Relay Foods for local squash, zucchini, onions, and eggs, I did a search to see what local fruits are on sale this week. I got an apple result, but also about thirty local wines, including some fun-sounding fruit wines from Peaks of Otter Winery. Blueberry? Pumpkin pie? Apple & chili pepper? Might have to head down that way for some hiking and wine tasting.

See how fun it can be to support local agriculture?