Wivey Grows is officially launched!

Wine Making with Carol and Adrian

04 December 22 - by Will Varney

In the month of making merry, December’s blog features a Q&A with Wivey Grower Carol Wales, who excitingly, alongside her husband Adrian, makes her own wine from locally grown fruit and veg. By explaining the process and how they have learnt to make it as cost and environmentally-efficient as possible, Carol and Adrian have provided a platform for other wine and growing enthusiasts to combine their passions into exciting creations of their own.

Is it really possible to make Runner Bean Wine?! Please enjoy the following Q&A to find out!

1. Firstly, please explain the process of making your own wine!

Pick the fruit or veg to wash and finely chop. Put in a fermentation bucket and add boiling water and mash to extract the juice/flavour, infuse for 4 days mashing every day.
Strain off the liquid and add sugar, yeast and any flavourings for the recipe.
Put in a demi John(s) with an airlock and leave to ferment. For about 10 days you need to rack off the wine, (syphon wine of sediment) into another sterile demijohn with an airlock.
When fermentation is completed you need to rack the wine so no sediment is left.
Put a cork in the demijohn to seal it and store it in a cool dark place for 6 months.

2. How long does the process take and what are the biggest challenges?

It takes about 15 months from start to finish.
The biggest challenges are if the wine does not clear or turns fizzy. You need patience to clear the CO2 before bottling.

3. What has been the nicest wine you have made so far ( in your opinion!)?

The nicest wine we have made is Elderberry, it is a full-bodied red wine and when stored in bottles for over 2 years it tastes like a rich port.

4. What “flavour” wine would you like to try and make in the future?

I would like to make dandelion wine as I remember my father making it, but I have a problem with knowing where to pick them.

We have gone mad since we moved here last year and took up an old hobby. We have made the usual wines but also experimented as we have had excess vegetables this year.

We have just over 50 demijohns of various wines:

Lettuce, Runner Bean, French Bean, Parsnip, Banana, Carrot, Marrow, Courgette, Elderflower, Gooseberry, Pear, Tomato, Apple and Crab apple, Fruit Tea Wine.
We usually make only Raspberry, Rhubarb, Elderberry, Apple, Sloe and Tea wine.

The extra details:

The alcohol content is about 14-17 %.
We always use corked wine bottles to bottle.
One demijohn = 6 bottles
All our demijohns are bought second-hand for no more than £2 and people donate old corked wine bottles. We use an online brewery supply site for yeast and sterilization tablets, corks and wine finings (clears wine).

“Hope that was as clear as our wine!”

Many thanks to Carol and Adrian, not only for their contribution and correspondence in regard to this month's blog, but also for the work they continue to put in to help develop the Wivey Grows project itself.

Prepare for winter sewing in January's blog with an interview with Team Flowers coordinator and growing enthusiast, Jayne Cowling next month....

but for now, it's Happy Christmas from all of us at Wivey Grows!

To get even further into the Wivey Grows' Christmas spirit, why not try out some of the activities below...

Mince pie baking with Kate Benson
10th December 10am-12pm
Langley House
£5 per adult/£3 per child

Get in the festive spirit with some mince pie baking with Kate Benson. Bring a little container to take some away with you. We will need to cover our costs of the ingredients so we ask for a £5 suggested donation per adult and £3 per child.

Please complete this form if you'd like to come so we get an idea of numbers - https://forms.office.com/r/XvexiZUCLd.


Christmas Wreath Making Workshop
10th December 2.30pm-5.30pm
Methodist Church, Milverton
£25 per person

Wreath ring provided and light refreshments included If you're interested please contact Lucy MacLeod at v.freesia4@gmail.com.