Commercial Cherry Wine

I’m still trying to get the hang of cherry wine, but while I tinker and tweak I might be able to buy some from the Ten Spoon Vineyard. This Montana winery uses Lambert cherries from Flathead Lake to make a dry red wine. I always get excited when I find the pros making “fruit wine.” I got some great advice on making rhubarb wine from the Lynfred Winery, and I’m hoping the people at Ten Spoon will share some tidbits.

I haven’t looked in on last year’s cherry wine since July, when I noticed a problem with the acidity. The total acidity (TA) was too high, which I would ordinarily address by neutralizing some of it. The pH was high as well, and that made my job tougher. If I went ahead and neutralized some of the acid to get the TA down, I would also be raising the already-too-high pH. So my thought was to leave the acid alone and balance it with sugar. Maybe I can get some advice on this – and find out if any of the shops around here carry Ten Spoon’s cherry wine!

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4 thoughts on “Commercial Cherry Wine

  1. Eric

    I recently harvested about 12 pounds of cherries, which I want to make into a cherry mead. Do I need to remove the pits from the cherries, or can I just crush them, add honey, water & yeast?

    I don’t know the variety, they came with the house. They are a light red and rather tart, more of a pie cherry. I’ve made meads with the cherries before and they were great, but I haven’t had to deal with 12 pounds before, and I’d rather not pit them, if I don’t have to.


  2. Erroll Post author

    Hi Eric,

    It’s good to hear from you again. I just crush my cherries, toss them in, and ferment normally. You might consider a short (three day) skin contact though. I don’t know if it’s the pits or not, but I find I prefer cherry wines/meads that are pressed after three days to those that ferment on the skin (and pits) for over a week.

    Good luck, and let me know how it turns out.


  3. Eric

    Thanks! I did a little bit of looking and found that the pits do contain a cyanide like substance, but as long as they remain intact and are not ingested, it shouldn’t be a problem.

    I don’t usually rack my wines that early, maybe I’ll try it this time.

    Thanks again!

  4. Erroll Post author

    I think there are trace amounts of cyanide, or a related substance, in other seeds too. At any rate, I’ll bet you’re going to end up with a terrific mead!


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