The crushed grapes with sugar and yeast added spent 5 days in a bucket, letting the grape skins infuse colour into the juice. We squeezed the grapes and filtered the liquid into a sterilised demijohn, adding more sugar. The spent grape skins were put in the compost. The liquid continues to bubble as the sediment drops out in the fermentation process.
That title is written slightly tongue in cheek, as our venture into wine making is very much in it’s infancy, although we made wine from grapes in another garden over twenty years ago. In 2017 we bought wood to make a pergola, this would help support a shade for where we have a seating area and create height. We enjoy dining al fresco especially in the summer when the family visits. That year we bought two vines, firstly a cabernet sauvignon grape and secondly a semillon white grape vine, we planted them near to the sunniest side of the frame. This is the third year the semillon has provided a few bunches of small sweet white grapes, the other vine has grown up and over the pergola, but this is the first year of grapes.
We realised that the wasps were being attracted to the ripe fruit so decided we should pick the grapes. We collected them in a bucket, they weighed over 4kilos.
In the kitchen we picked the grapes off stems, quite a sticky job, we also removed the spiders and other bugs, we then crushed the grapes, mostly between our hands, which was quite satisfying. We have ordered a wine making book from the library, which should arrive soon, we have left the skins because we would prefer a red wine. We think we will have enough for 1 demijohn.
We have just returned from a trip to the Lake District. We have stayed at the Fish Inn Buttermere a few times over the last forty years. We love the homely style and welcome of the hotel, the food and drinks, especially beer are exceptional. It is quite remote, yet many people endure the narrow mountain roads daily to enjoy the experience of climbing the fells, walking around the lakes or the homemade icecream and other tasty food.
We arrived later than expected after closure and long delays on the motorway. We had hoped to walk around Buttermere Lake that evening but arrived too late. So we got up around 6.30am the next morning, so that we could complete the walk before breakfast. It was fine and not cold as we strolled along the path, the water lapping the shore, it was very relaxing. Later that day, rain was forecast so we drove into Keswick, so busy in the crowds. We then visited a relative in Penrith arriving back at Buttermere to a fine evening. The next day dawned mild and clear as we set off up to High Snockrigg, a hill we hadn’t climbed before, quite steep, after two hours we reached the summit, not tempted to carry on up further to Robinson Fell, which seemed a climb too far, for our already aching legs. Down wasn’t that easy as underfoot was loose gravel, running water, rocks and steep drops. Amazing views made it totally worth it.
Our final full day dawned and after another wonderful breakfast we set off around Crummock water, the evidence of a very stiff breeze confirmed our decision to do little climbing. We enjoyed the over 8 mile walk around the lake. We did drive into Cockermouth in the afternoon, where we had a look around the shops and shared a pot of tea. We especially enjoyed our steak dinner back at the Inn that evening. Heading back to Stourbridge the next day.