Yes, we sell it in our winery. The first batch was a bit light on color - like a blush. The berries were not ripe enough. I'll have to look at my logs to see how much fruit per gallon but my guess is about 4-5 pounds. This year's wine is much better with much riper fruit and a darker color. They were less astringent and I only had to sweeten it up to about 4% residual sugar to be balanced. The previous batch was closer to 6-7%.
It's an unusual taste for wine drinkers. Very unique. Earthy and a bit fruity with similarities to chokecherry but more complex. Some love it immediately, some hate it immediately - for many it is confusing and grows on them as they sip more. That was me at first but now I love it.
I have a batch that I made last year but I haven't bottled it yet but I don't remember how many lb. per pound I used. I will get my first crop off of my own bushes this year which I still haven't picked thinking I might get it done Sunday so I am just looking for ideals on what to do with it this year
I also made a batch last year. My cousin called them chokecherries, but I'm pretty sure they're chokeberries, or aronia. The bottoms of the berries looked more like chokeberries, which have bumps, where chokecherries only have a slight blossom scar. Anyhow, I made a 6 gallon batch out of 40 or 50 pounds. It is very, very dark. I haven't decided yet how dry to keep it. I also may blend some of it with elderberry or muscadine.
That settles it. What she has is chokeberries, which is good. Because I bought 3 chokeberry bushes in March, 2014. I'm mildly surprised, but there have been no berries yet, three years down the road.
I bottled my chokeberry wine a week or so ago and it was good. Very good. I bottled a little over half of it dry (specific gravity about 1.000) and the rest semi-sweet. Upon one of the early rackings, I topped it with a quart of Tart Cherry juice and that is the dominant flavor.
The recipe I used was 40 pounds of frozen aronia berries in a paint strainer bag. I mashed them by hand in the bag in the bucket. I added a couple of gallons of water to get enough liquid to cover the bag. Some of the water contained 8 pounds of dissolved sugar and was boiled to dissolve the sugar. Then I added more sugar to bring the specific gravity up to 1.100. Everything else was typical. A quarter teaspoon of k-meta and pectic enzyme, 12 hours later 4 teaspoons of yeast nutrient and 1.5 teaspoons of energizer, the sugar, and a packet of Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast. I kept the berries in the mesh bag during fermentation except when I poured the boiling hot sugar water in, I poured it into the bag and then knotted the bag and let it float in the must (punching it down and flipping it over a couple of times a day.) When primary was pretty much done, I squeezed and wrung the bag by hand, then transferred to a carboy. Then, several days later, I racked it into another carboy and topped it up with Just Tart Cherry juice. It has made as good a wine as I've ever made, but I would not do the cherry juice again. Unless aronia tastes just like tart cherry juice, the addition of the juice overpowered the aronia flavor. I didn't expect that with one quart in 6 gallons. I racked it about every 3 months or so, adding .25 tsp of k-meta at each racking, then stabilizing with potassium sorbate before bottling. When I tasted it before bottling, I thought it tasted a little sweet for a dry wine at 1.000. But 1.000 is a high specific gravity for a dry wine.
20lbs aronia berries
5 tsp nutrient
1 tsp pectic enzyme
1 tblsp acid blend
1/4 tsp tannin
13 lbs sugar
Approx 4.5 gallons of water, this is a 5 gallon batch.
Froze and thawed berries, mashed them , and steeped them. Put in bag and fermented punching them down once per day.
It should come out to about 13% abv. I have used several recipes and havent found the perfect one yet. this is the one im working now. We only have 2 bushes. But i have a friend that has thousands of bushes on his farm.
Update on aronia berry wine.
I bottled 2 5 gallon batches, I back sweetened both batches with 2 cans grape juice concentrate.
1 batch i made with above recipe, the other i used 15lbs of berries and Red Star Montrachet yeast.
The rc212 batch is a little tanic and leaves my lips dry which i like.
Both batches have gotten great reviews from local wine drinkers.
I have been drinking on my batch of Aronia for two years now and the longer it has set in the bottle the better it has gotten I don't remember how many pounds of berries I used back then but I am ready to do it again
That seemed like a lot of water, but when I harvested my aronia berries this year, I noticed they are not very juicy. I let mine stay on the bush until some were falling off. That's a long time hanging on the bushes after they turned dark. It seemed like some were a little shriveled. I harvested them in September or October, I can't remember when, and froze them. I believe I have 5 full one gallon ziploc bags frozen.
this year I ended up with blood clots in my lungs about the time it was to harvest the aronia's but what I want to say is that I was getting better and could operate our mower and ever time I got close to the bushes some would drop off and land in the area where I keep my feet so I would drive up close to them and grab one off the bush and squish it in my fingers and it would be really juicy why I mention this is the fact that we had a lot of rain here this summer it seemed like every other day and I know that they where ready to be picked but I still didn't have the energy to do it so It leads me to believe that they require a very lot of rain or water during the summer
As I have made this several times now, I can say that I really like how this wine ages. It gets better after a couple of years in the bottle. I prefer to let the aronia ripen fully on the plant long after it turns black. The berries should get up to at least 18 brix. I like a rich full bodied red wine with some oak on it sweetened up just a tad to take the edge off. This can be a great drier red wine. The tannins in it will allow it to age for years, I'm sure.