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Anyone used the Vintner's Harvest Fruit Bases?

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smurfe

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I have a can of Vintner's Harvest Raspberry fruit base. I was wondering if any of you have used this brand before. I am still mulling over if I am going to make a 3 gallon or 5 gallon batch. If I am going to oak it or not. If so, which oak? I have thought about adding a vanilla bean to it to add some vanilla flavor.

I will probably go with a 3 gallon batch for added body but have heard many make the 5 gallon batch to their liking. I have never heard anyone say they weren't pleased with the Vintner's Harvest products. Anyone have any input here?

Smurfe :)
 

lorenae

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I used the Vintner's Harvest blackberry base. I did the recipe for 3 gallons, but I still thought it was a little too thin. I ended up making another 2 gallons from fresh blackberries, and combined them. It's better, but still not a lot of body. I oaked a little in the secondary- I think around 3 ounces of French oak chips. The oak is not really perceptable, but seemed to add something in the way of body.

Next time, I'll just use frozen berries and skip the base. Nothing wrong with it, but for $27 (the price of the base), I can buy alot of frozen blackberries.

Lorena
 

smurfe

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Thanks for the input. I agree about the blackberry and can get them at a decent price locally. Raspberry was another story though. When I priced the frozen at Wal-Mart, it was higher in cost to buy the frozen. They were outrageous. I even found the department manager to inquire if they were priced wrong. I could find no other place locally that has them right now.

Smurfe :)
 

smurfe

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I forgot to ask, how many pounds of blackberries per gallon did you use to get a fuller body wine?

Smurfe :)
 

lorenae

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I used 4 pounds per gallon, which is Jack Keller's recipe for "medium body dry" blackberry wine. I would have used more, but that's all my husband picked! So I made two gallons with this recipe, and added it to the three gallons made with the fruit base.
Lorena

BLACKBERRY WINE (2) [Medium Bodied Dry]
4 lb blackberries
2-1/4 lb granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1/2 tsp acid blend
crushed Campden tablet
7 pts water
wine yeast and nutrient
Pick fully ripe, best quality berries. Wash thoroughly and place in nylon jelly-bag. Mash and squeeze out all juice into primary fermentation vessel. Tie jelly-bag and place in primary fermentation vessel with all ingredients except yeast. Stir well to dissolve sugar, cover well, and set aside for 24 hours. Add yeast, cover, and set aside 5 days, stirring daily. Strain juice from jelly-bag and siphon off sediments into secondary fermentation vessel of dark glass (or wrap clear glass with brown paper), filling only to the upper shoulder of the secondary, and fit airlock. Leftover must should be placed in a 750-ml wine bottle with airlock (a #2 bung fits most wine bottles) and used for topping up. Top up when all danger of foaming over is past. Place in cool (60-65 degrees F.) dark place for three weeks. Rack, allow another two months to finish, then rack again and bottle in dark glass. Allow a year to mature to a nice semi-sec.

It is not semi-sec, it is dry. It finished at .990, and like I said before, I lightly oaked all 5 gallons.
 
C

Caplan

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And it's worth noting that if you do pick your own blackberries from the 'wild' different bushes produce hugely variable fruit. It pays to take the dogs for a country walk or two in mid Spring and look around noting patches and revisit them every so often to check how they're doing.
 

ttalsma

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I have a can of Vintner's Harvest Raspberry fruit base. I was wondering if any of you have used this brand before. I am still mulling over if I am going to make a 3 gallon or 5 gallon batch. If I am going to oak it or not. If so, which oak? I have thought about adding a vanilla bean to it to add some vanilla flavor.

I will probably go with a 3 gallon batch for added body but have heard many make the 5 gallon batch to their liking. I have never heard anyone say they weren't pleased with the Vintner's Harvest products. Anyone have any input here?

Smurfe :)
Smurfe,

The first wine that I made was a VH Blackberry back around this time in 2004. It finished a little dry for our (my wife & I) tastes, but has melloed very nicely since then. I made the 5 gallon batch and don't think it turned out too thin. just picked up a can of strawberry and I'll probably use the 3 gallon recipe for that one, just to compare. Heck! I might even pick up another can and make a 6 gallon batch!
 

dizzyswimmer

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I think I would use 2 can's and go for 6 gallons. I like full body. I have not used the VH before so I'm not speaking from experince:D .
 

Madriver Wines

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I made a 5 gallon strawberry from the Vinters Harvest can and it turned out awesome! It is dry but very fruity and has a good red color. I will be bottling it next week and racked it this past week getting a small taste of course.
 

Wade E

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I use the Cranberry, Black Currant and Blackberry with great success, I use the 3 gallon recipe! The Black Currant has no fruit in it which makes it really easy but the flavor from this can is unmatched, it simply is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! I implore anyone to try the Black Currant!
 

cpfan

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I use the Cranberry, Black Currant and Blackberry with great success, I use the 3 gallon recipe! The Black Currant has no fruit in it which makes it really easy but the flavor from this can is unmatched, it simply is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! I implore anyone to try the Black Currant!
Wish I could get it here in Canada. Will be taking a little run thru New York, Pennsylvania, maybe Ohio soon, so will be looking then. Of course, I've been saying this for about 6 months now.

Steve
 

Wade E

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Some of these really are terrible too I must add. I bought a Marionberry and it had no flavor right out of the can, it was so bad I dumped it. The raspberry is decent, the cherry isnt that good either, mostly pits!
 

cpfan

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I'm most interested in the Blackberry with Black Currant second. So it sounds like I'm OK.

Thanks, Steve
 

Madriver Wines

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Some of these really are terrible too I must add. I bought a Marionberry and it had no flavor right out of the can, it was so bad I dumped it. The raspberry is decent, the cherry isnt that good either, mostly pits!
I have a Loganberry that is coming along quite well. The plum is still up in the air as I havent had a taste in a while. The strawberry is my favorite so far. Wade what does black currant taste like?:b
 

Wade E

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It is a very strong flavor and is very hard to explain as any other flavor is hard to explain. I suggest you go to a store and look for some kind of juice to try firts but I really havent met anyone who didnt like the flavor. Not very far from elderberry but much stronger and better IMO.
 

Guapo

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Go to the local package store and try a bottle of Cream de Cassis. This is Black Currant.
 

bruno

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I tried the blackberry and thought it came out rather thin. Then tried a cranberry and it was excellent. Both 3 gallon recipies.
 
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Those two are my fav's followed by Cranberry.
got that in a secondary right now! this is the second or third time we've made this one. the black currant, merlot and black berry are always good, but we are trying to go commercial, so we've moved to real blackberry in the last few years.
 

NSwiner

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Has anyone tried blending these with other wines like say chardonnay or sauvignon blanc ?
 
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