Traditionally, only visit species of vines are called wine, although many other fruits can and are being used to produce alcoholic beverages. They are collectively called fruit wines except those made from apples, which are called hard cider, those from pears perries, and those from honey mead.
may and often do contain flavouring agents such as flowers, herbs, and spices, pending on local legislation.
In some jurisdictions, fruit wines must be made from fruits only, without any addition, in others blending of wines and fruit wines may be legal.
Home winemakers prefer to make fruit wines. They are relatively easy to manipulate and fruits are easier to obtain than suitable grapes, but they must in most cases be “helped” by chaptalization (adding sugar), or acidifying, or de-acidifying, using tannins to create a welcome addition of bitterness, and yeast.
For grape wines, there is no need to start fermentation by pitching yeast, or adjusting acidity if the fruit comes from vineyards with desirable terroir.
The following fruits are commonly used – apples, pears, apricots, peaches, blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, elderberries, kiwis, pomegranates, pineapples, rd currants, cloudberries, and watermelons. In tropical countries, mangoes, cashews, breadfruits, dates, and whatever else is available are popular.
North Americans, Central Europeans, Scandinavians, and Africans from some countries make and enjoy fruit wines more than in other regions.
In Europe, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Denmark, Hungary, the Czech republic, Russia, Poland and northern Italy are large producers and consumers of fruit wines.
In the U.S.A (some states), and Canada all provinces produce fruit wines commercially, although Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Nova Scotia boast large-scale productions due to geography and population densities.
Southern Ontario and southern British Columbia produce significant quantities of apples, berries and a variety of tree fruits.
The Niagara Peninsula, and southwestern Ontario are well known for their fruit wines.
Germans around Frankfurt am Main are fond of their hard ciders, as are British, and north western French (Normans) of their ciders. Pomegranate wines are much liked in Armenia. Poles and Russians like berry wines and mead.
As stated above, Ontario produces significant quantities of fruit wine in more than 20 specialized establishments, the most famous of which are Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery and Scotch Block winery, followed by Muskoka Lakes, Southbrook Vineyards and Villa Nova.
Surprisingly the L.C.B.O carries extremely few fruit wines, and fruit wine aficionados must travel to wineries to buy them, or contact the winery fro shipment at extra cost. Visiting a winery offers the advantage of tasting before buying.
Recently, several Ontario fruit wineries generously provided their products to Wine Writers’ Circle Of Canada fro a tasting. There were more than 35 fruit wines in total, and the following stood out:
Iced Apple, Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery
Blueberry, Sunnybrook Farm Estate winery
Raspberry Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery
Bosc Pear, Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery
Framboise, Southbrook Vineyards
375 ml $ 15.95
Cerise, Villa Nova
Strawberry Sensation Truffle, Scotch Block Winery
375 ml $ 15.95
Blackcurrant Truffle, Scotch Block Winery
$ 15.95 375 ml
Cassis, Scotch Block Winery
$ 15.95 375 ml.
Blueberry Truffle, Scotch Block Winery
$ 15.95 375 ml.
Framboise Truffle, Scotch Block Winery
$ 14.95 375 ml.
Strawberry Fields, Scotch Block Winery
$ 14.95 375 ml
Cranberry/blueberry, Muskoka Lakes Winery
Fruit wines oxidize at a much slower rate than grape wines.
Once opened, decant wine into a smaller bottle, seal tightly, and refrigerate for up to three to four days.
More Fruit Wines Here.