Once you have identified a Mahonia Bush and picked enough Mahonia berries (oregon grapes), you can get started processing them into even more exciting things. You can do many things with these little berries but my favourite so far has to be turn them into wine. They do not call these little fantastic berries Oregon Grapes for nothing! We used a 1 gallon demijohn to test out our recipe this year but the resulting wine was so successful we are definitely planning to fill a couple of 5 gallon drums next year instead.
These berries make a full flavoured red wine that is simply scrumptious and high professional quality. We found it went nicely with game meat in particular.
Minimum Equipment Requirement
- 1 Gal Demijohn or Drum/Tub
- 1 Airlock
- 1 Siphon Tube
Ingredients for 1 Gallon Mahonia Wine
- 2kg Oregon Grapes
- 1350g Sugar
- 2 stewed tea bags
- top up with water
- Sterilise your equipment
- Pass Boiling Water through the grapes and mash them up
- Strain off the juice – do this several times to get the most out of the berries. It should be a super dark red.
- Place into the primary fermentation bucket/Demijohn
- Add sugar
- Top up with water
- Allow the mixture to cool until it reaches around 21C
- Add yeast and yeast nutrient
- Cover and place airlock
- Keep in a warm dry place
- After 8 weeks, test the mixture with a hydrometer. Add sugar according to taste if it’s ready to bottle.
- Add a crushed Campden tablet to clear according to the tablet instructions and allow to settle
- Rack Off and bottle.
As you can see from our current demijohn we have been so surprised at the wonderful flavour of this wine we have started taking one too many “Test Samples” before bottling! Oh dear!