I started this wine yesterday, Sunday 8th July. It was a rare and welcome sunny day, and we spent it in the south western reaches of North Yorkshire, nosing around some large and extremely posh gardens - including that of Low Hall in Dacre. Before this, however, we stopped off at the 'Pick Your Own' at Wharfedale Grange Farm, and in best gang-master style, I had Claire, Duncan and Rachel picking strawberries for me. The fruit was large and abundant this year - some of the strawberries were the size of small eggs. Between us we picked about ten pounds of strawberries. This is far too many for the single batch of wine I have made (which only requires 4 lbs) but enough for several bowls of strawberries and cream, a batch of strawberry jam and two bags of frozen strawberries in anticipation of fruit combinations for wine later in the year.
On Sunday night I got myself into a thoroughly bad mood by hulling all strawberries picked, weighing them and struggling to get those destined to be frozen into the freezer.
I put four pounds of fruit into the bucket and added two tiny wild strawberries from our garden - I could not find any more. I mashed these up and poured over four pints of boiling water and three pounds of sugar. This evening I strained the liquid into a demijohn, saving the pulp in a second bucket. This was the particularly sticky bit. I then poured two pints of cold water over the pulp, let it stew whilst I washed and sterilised the original bucket, and then strained the liquid back into this, throwing out the pulp. I also poured in the strawberry liquid from the demijohn. (All very complicated.) I added the yeast and a teaspoon each of nutrient, pectolase and tannin.
If you want to see how this wine turned out (and it turned out really very well indeed) click here