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 started this project in August 2016, we are improving the garden, encouraging birds with feeders and nest boxes; a wild life pond felt the next step. We bought an oblong flower pot and some aquatic plants, dug a hole, we then surrounded the pot with bricks and plants.
I visited a local garden centre and I noticed dwarf waterlilies for sale, I decided if the pond was successful, I would like to enlarge the pond area so that I could buy a water lily.
I arranged to pick up some frogspawn in February, we arrived home in the dark, we shone a torch into the water to guide the contents of the bucket into the pond and to our amazement saw a newt swimming round, we carefully placed the frogspawn in. As the tadpoles started hatching out we began planning to make the area bigger.
We were given a piece of pond liner, we decided to dig the hole to fit the liner, we wanted a deep part, a shelf for some of the aquatic plants, a beach for amphibians to walk in and out and birds to drink and bathe. We had considered a preformed pond too.
As there were now two newts and lots of tadpoles we decided to place the flower pot pond inside the new larger one. We cut a slot in the plastic pot to allow movement between the ponds.