Niagara grapes are a variety of Vitis labrusca, a well-known North American species white grape. They are most commonly found in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. Niagara grapes are also the most common source of white grape juice. This recipe uses additional sugar to bring the alcohol content to 11 percent and will make a crisp, dry white wine. The saccharometer, yeast, siphon hose and clarifying agent are available at wine-making supply stores.
Things You'll Need
- White grape juice
- Steel pot
- Finely granulated sugar
- 1-gallon plastic jug
- Siphon hose
- Plastic bottles with caps
- Clarifying agent
Obtain juice from Niagra grapes. This might be commercial white grape juice or fresh Niagra grapes. If you use commercial grape juice, ensure that it doesn't contain any preservatives such as sodium benzoate. Separate the juice from the skins as quickly as possible if you use fresh grapes.
Pour the grape juice into a steel pot. Monitor your saccharometer as you add enough dissolved fine sugar to bring the sugar content of the juice to 22 percent. This should require about one-half pound of sugar per gallon.
Transfer the sweetened grape juice to a plastic jug and add a pinch of yeast. Punch a hole in the cap and allow this mixture (must) to ferment in a cool place for about two weeks. You'll know the fermentation is complete when the specific gravity (S.G.) drops to 1.01.
Siphon the wine from the surface into plastic bottles so that you leave the sediment behind. This process is known as racking the wine. You might need to rack the wine more than once if the fermentation process isn't complete. You might need to add a clarifying agent if the wine doesn't clear on its own.
Allow the wine to age. This white wine should continue to improve for at least a year.
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