Peachy Keen - Flavors of Summer in the Deep of Winter
During this dark, dank, damp week we wanted to remind you of the warmth and flavors of summer. They exist, even if they came out of my freezer.
Freezing peaches is one way I approach dealing with the over-abundance of freshness that hits the Willamette Valley in Mid-July and doesn't stop until October. When I received a windfall of peaches I didn't have the time to can or dehydrate them, but I did have a gang of guys sitting in a back yard. Bring a gang of guys a few knives and a bucket to throw peaches in, along with permission to eat as many as they can, and you quickly get cut, pitted peaches to toss into a freezer. Come January it was time to pull those peaches out and create wine!
Last week I combined 5 pounds of frozen peaches (thawed), dextrose, nutrient, DAP, acid blend, pectic enzyme, sulfites, and a bit of yeast to create a Peachy Keen Farmhouse Wine. The wine has been fermenting away and, as you can see in the photos below, creating a nice cap as it does so. We have been diligently punching it down (stirring) twice a day which releases a stream of CO2 and sweet peachy and yeasty aromas. Punching down is necessary as the wine ferments due to the build up of CO2 under the fruit solids. As this happens the fruit solids rise to the top of the fermentation (create a cap) and can dry out and get moldy if left to their own devices.
In a few days the primary fermentation will be done and we will press all the solids out and rack the wine into a one-gallon carboy. We'll let it age for a few months and then bottle it just in time for tasting at our Farmhouse Wine Class on June 10th. The class will be about 3 hours (starting at 9:00 am) and will go over the process of creating non-grape fruit wines. The cost is $15.00, you can sign up in person at the shop or over the phone. We think the class is scheduled just in time for next round of the abundant freshness of the Willamette Valley summer.